We recently integrated with Drip, a world-class email automation tool that makes it easy to send emails to your subscribers based on their behavior. In the following guest post, Drip co-founder Rob Walling shares why marketing automation is the future of email marketing, and how using the new Privy-Drip integration can give you an unfair advantage.
Let's give a big, warm welcome to Sam Goodnow, the new face of content marketing here at Privy. Sam joins us on a mission to eat her own dog food. She was most recently on an ecommerce marketing team, and saw first hand how much ecommerce marketers struggle with list growth and customer acquisition. There couldn't be a more perfect fit as Sam is now helping us tell our story, so that her former peers don't have to go through the same pains as Sam experienced.
Welcome aboard, Sam!
With the New Year right around the corner, we're here to help you make one positive resolution you can absolutely keep:
Don't purchase email lists. Grow your own high-quality database of subscribers instead.
Because seriously, with all you can do with email marketing - segmentation, automation, personalization, CRM, and so on - your email list is having a shining moment. What a time to be alive as an email marketer!
We know you would never dream of doing so, but top Google results for 'Grow Your Email List' still offer baited results to acquire hundreds of thousands of addresses at the click of a button. And there are other temptations too, like borrowing lists from partners, or sending communications to any email address you come by - regardless of whether they've sign up to receive them.
And this is exactly what email marketing has gotten a bad rep in the past - the outdated means of spammy mass emailing and buying subscriber lists. Not only do both of those practices reflect poorly on your business, they also just don’t work.
Let’s look at a quick example that is certainly an all-too-common occurrence.
Our friends at an ecommerce food website acquired a small brand, and therefore all of the email subscribers from that brand.
What came with the acquisition was an email list of over 400,000 “opted-in subscribers” – or so they thought.
First let's note that nothing here was done illegally; the subscribers were notified of the acquisition, and both brands were so similar, that the subscribers should have had a seamless transition to receiving similar content from the new brand.
Turns out, the list was actually closer to 320,000 promotional email addresses, and 80,000 customer emails who never opted-in for marketing emails.
And that’s just the beginning of the list shrinkage. After just a few sends, it became clear the list was outdated with email addresses from the past 10 years. Emails bounced or were marked as spam, and as the list cleaned, it reduced to 280,000 emailable contacts.
Despite being a list of consumers predisposed to the same natural food content, 20,000 subscribers would ultimately unsubscribe over the next 6 months. They were either no longer interested in the topic, or didn’t like what the new company had to offer in comparison to the past business they actively subscribed to. The real kicker? 220,000 of the final 260,000 subscribers have still never even opened an email from the new company.
While this acquired list rapidly diminished, our friends had simultaneously been growing their own email list through a variety of organic methods. This quality email list grew over 100% in that same amount of time, had a much lower unsubscribe rate, and averaged a 20-40% open rate.
So even though the company legally acquired a massive list of relevant subscribers, it was quickly reduced to a fraction of usable emails, and the response was so minimal that the time spent on the acquired list would have been much more wisely invested in growing and communicating with the organic email list.
Most notably, when comparing sales between the purchased list and the organic list, the conversion rate was undeniable proof that growing an email list organically by converting high-intent, engaged subscribers is a far more effective tactic. The organic list of opted-in subscribers generated 56.21% of company revenue, while the purchased list accounted for just 1.67% of revenue.
The key takeaway is that the engaged subscribers, who were interested in what the brand had to offer in the first place, were that much more likely to convert into sales after opting-in in through organic channels.
So go forth in 2017 and build the best list you have yet.
Wondering how to best grow your list? Check out our guide on Email List Growth 101.
Google recently announced that starting in 2017, they will be making changes to their rankings. Specifically, Google will be penalizing mobile sites that use intrusive interstitials, also known as mobile popups. You can read Google's full announcement here.
Who this affects:
Any website currently using a popup on the mobile site. Namely publishers using popup to display ads, and even Privy users targeting the same popup campaign to both desktop and mobile visitors.
What is considered an intrusive mobile popup?
According to Google's official announcement, the following examples would be flagged:
A mobile popup that covers the main content, either immediately or after a period of viewing the page
Displaying a standalone mobile popup that the user has to dismiss before accessing the page
A welcome mat mobile popup where the above the fold portion of the page pushes the original content underneath the fold.
Examples of intrusive mobile popups:
What is considered an acceptable mobile display?
According to Google's Official announcement, the following are examples of acceptable mobile interstitials:
Banners that only use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.
Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or age verification.
Login dialogs where content is not publicly indexable. For example, publisher content that is behind a paywall
Examples of acceptable mobile displays:
In the above examples, you'll note how the interstitial displays take up less than 30% of the phone screen, and can easily be closed.
Best practices we recommend for Privy users:
If you haven't already, you should be running separate campaigns for mobile visitors. You can accomplish this easily using the Privy device targeting feature. This way, you can leave your desktop campaign in it's current format, and create a separate campaign that is truly optimized for mobile.
Your mobile targeted campaign should use the email bar display type. You could also consider using a flyout display type, and keeping the height of the flyout to a minimum.
Your mobile targeted campaign should not use a timer or scroll trigger. If you set any triggers at all, it should just be a floating or full width tab. In line with Google's announcement, you want to be sure that if a visitor lands on your site on a mobile device, they are actively clicking the tab to open the form.
Example of the Privy mobile bar:
In the above screenshots, notice how little screen space the closed email bar takes up. Also notice that the visitor needs to click the bar to open the form, and even in open position, the visitor can easily close the bar.
One other option for Privy users, is to keep the popup format, but remove all automatic triggers, and only use the tab as the prompt for the mobile visitor to open the popup. Here's what that would look like:
A note to Privy users on the Always Free plan:
You can remain on the free tier without concern. You will just need to tweak your existing popup campaign to only use exit intent as the trigger, and also have a tab prompt. Since exit intent only works on desktop, it will not automatically trigger a popup on mobile. The different tab styles will act as the only available prompt on mobile devices, as noted in the screenshots above. The only reason you would need to upgrade is if you want the ability to have completely separate campaigns on desktop vs mobile. That is where the device targeting feature comes into play. But to reiterate, you can use our above recommendations to remain on the free plan, and avoid any issues.
Most importantly, remember that list growth isn't just about slapping a generic popup on your website. It's about crafting relevant, personal opt-in opportunities that enhance your customers' journey. So as you rethink your approach to mobile opt-ins, keep your customers user experience as unintrusive as possible, and as relevant as possible. If you're successful achieving that, you won't have to worry about Google penalizing your ranking based on annoying mobile popups.
This week we partnered with the folks over at Delivra to talk about the pitfalls and strategies behind growing a clean, engaged email list. Did you miss the live webinar? Not to worry, you can click below to access the full recording. Enjoy!
Say hello to Andrew Vazquez, the new face of Privy customer support. Andrew joins us after recently closing over 1,000,000,000 (1 Billion) support tickets at Constant Contact. He spent nearly 4 years helping small businesses around the world optimize their email marketing efforts. There couldn't be a more perfect fit.
Welcome aboard, Andrew!
Today we're excited to announce that industry veteran Mike Chu has joined the Privy engineering team. Mike is bringing his most recent experience from Netra + Bookity to the table. But don't be fooled, Mike may be fluent with the Mean JS stack, but he's really a nice, approachable guy.
Welcome aboard, Mike!
With today's update, Shopify users on the Privy commerce or Growth plans can now target specific messages to users based on the value in the visitor's shopping cart. This is the first of several new audience targeting capabilities to come.
Targeting by cart value is perfect for abandoned cart popups, free shipping bar announcements and more.
Cart value targeting is available today on Commerce and Growth plans, for Shopify connected accounts only. Enjoy!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday is fast approaching, and chances are you have already begun setting up your discounts, teasing them to your existing subscriber base, and making last-minute adjustments to perfect your shopper experience for the big day(s).
Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend (we’ll shorten that to BFCM) is a relentlessly competitive time, as brick and mortar and ecommerce storefronts alike compete for inbox space, shopper attention, and ultimately wallet share. Therefore it's also a perfect opportunity to refresh your on-site strategy to take advantage of increased site traffic and convert more shoppers than ever before.
We’ve already discussed a few different ways to stand-out this Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, but beyond trying different promotions and timing, we’ve found that there are more personalized approaches you can take to make your shoppers’ experience seamless, and ultimately more rewarding for your ecommerce in the end.
[Don't miss it: Prepare Your eCommerce Marketing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday - Webinar]
Welcome the Black Friday + Cyber Monday Traffic
If a customer is on your site during one of the most competitive online shopping periods of the year - first of all, congrats! Second of all, let’s move! You don’t want to waste this opportunity.
Welcome shoppers immediately with messaging about your BFCM promotions so they know exactly where to go next. Use a tailored popup or banner to highlight deals or lead to specific landing pages. An announcement campaign makes it easy for customers to find your promotions without having to dig.
A festive hero image centered around your BFCM offers is another way for shoppers to see deals immediately when landing on the site and not get lost or distracted. Add a call-to-action on the image so shoppers know where to click to head directly to a sale category, or browse your best selling products.
There are a million sales going on, so your potential customer needs to be able to easily navigate your site and get to what they want, or else they’ll take their shopping elsewhere.
Personalize the BFCM Shopping Experience
Tailoring your on-site strategy based on a few different variables can really bring your BFCM experience to the next level.
For example, splitting the traffic based on two types of visitors, such as first-time visitors and repeat visitors, will allow you to personalize the welcome message discussed above. This can further simplify the navigation process for shoppers, and save browsing time so they can get straight to adding-to-cart.
- Target a first-time visitor with a welcome message popup or banner. Since this is their first time exploring your site, you could focus on highlighting your most popular products, or products that most new customers purchase from you. Don’t forget to them about a promotion on that product, in the spirit of Cyber Monday.
- Someone who has been to your site several times has already seen and hopefully purchased your most popular product, so you could try directing them to other products to expand their awareness of what you offer – and then of course supplement it with the BFCM sale that you’re running.
Beyond identifying the number of times a visitor has been to your site, there are other variables you could easily use to personalize your on-site shopping experience for BFCM shoppers.
- Device type: A desktop shopper has plenty of screen space to browse catalog pages, while a mobile user will need a slimmer version of the site to shop on. Serving a different homepage or welcome popup optimized for mobile can nudge traffic in the right direction.
- Popups based on geographic location: If you have shoppers all over the world, you may want to offer different BFCM discounts in your popups based on a visitors’ location
- Popups based on referral path: If a customer clicked your Cyber Monday coupon on a Facebook ad, and another found you via Google search results, you can communicate different messages to them. Clicking your ‘25% Off’ ad on Facebook means a customer is headed straight for your 25% off deals, so you don’t have to waste a communication telling them about anything else when they land on your site just yet.
- Messaging based on whether a visitor is logged in as a customer or not: The perfect time to give your best customers an extra-special VIP Cyber Monday deal!
Identify which of these ideas will suit your customers best. By choosing just one or two visitor stories you want to take advantage of, you can focus on converting your most likely customers with a tailored shopping experience.
Use Cart Abandonment to Convert or Capture Leads
Hopefully once your visitors have been directed to discover your promotions or product picks, they continue along to purchase. But if they don’t, there is one last solution to try – an abandoned cart popup.
If a shopper has added a product to their cart and they are going to leave your website before completing their purchase, you’ve got an opportunity to serve a popup or banner that is super targeted to that visitor and the contents of their cart.
By crafting messaging around the remaining time left in the sale (think countdown…), or highlighting the limited stock available of the product they are shopping for, you can create a sense of urgency that may push the shopper to check out then. Additionally, you could serve the customer an extra discount on this notification to further incentivize completing the purchase.
You can include an email address field in that popup so you can follow up with them via email if they still don’t complete the purchase, but ideally this popup discount is going to be the extra nudge they need to reduce the likelihood of them leaving without purchasing.
Make the Most of BFCM Traffic by Following Up
After all this, don’t forget to follow up! For traffic that didn’t convert or for any emails you collected during BFCM, you now have an open line to communicate with these potential customers during the next few weeks of the holiday season. A welcome series of emails detailing a little background about your brand, or showcasing a few select products can help educate these subscribers and turn them into customers down the line.
So which visitor path will you use to personalize your site before the holiday traffic begins?
Choosing just one or two of these quick updates to your site can help you make the most of your hard-earned traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, and in the holiday shopping weeks to come.
It’s coming. Yes, winter… but even bigger in the eCommerce world: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With just over two weeks until Thanksgiving, you’ve probably given some thought to the discounts you’ll be offering, and hopefully begun teasing or announcing them to your email subscribers to make the most of this high-volume sales opportunity.
In our recent webinar we discussed how you can leverage your existing consumer base to capitalize at the end of this month. Just as storefronts begin to crowd with eager, early shoppers on Thanksgiving, your customer’s inboxes are already crowded with messages from retailers eager to stay top of mind... So how do you stand out among the flashy emails and super sale subject lines?
Here are a few different ways to engage your subscribers this season that are super easy to set-up before Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off.
1. Personalized Notifications
If you have a wave of different discounts you’re rolling out throughout the day or weekend, offer to notify your subscribers when each sale will begin. That way, potential customers who are particularly interested in a specific category or discount won’t miss your offer.
Using landing pages, have subscribers opt-in for an email-notification so they won’t miss the fun when it begins. You can link to this page from email, with a call to action to sign up for notifications. Keep the page simple by having their email pre-filled, and let them quickly select which deals they would like. Then simply schedule your email notification to send right when the event begins – and let the sales roll in!
2. Cyber Week
If you would love to compete with the big box online retailers, but know you might have a hard time competing for traffic, why not extend the sale to your subscribers for an additional period of time? Instead of limiting your offer to one day and missing potential conversions, incentivize your leads and customers by offering an exclusive week-long sale. Try different deals each day to maximize opportunities – one product or discount may be attractive to part of your customers, while another deal could convert others.
3. Price Match
Cyber Monday shoppers have the unique ability to price compare with competitors at the time of purchase, so offering a price match tool to keep shoppers on-site could be a key to not losing the traffic you worked hard to attract. Black Friday shoppers also have ample time to look around for the best deals before the day comes, so you’ll want to communicate this advantage to them early-on.
Price or deal matching ensures you won’t be beat out by any better offers in your industry – but keep in mind, you’ll have to factor in your costs and also the Black Friday/ Cyber Monday discounts your competitors are simultaneously offering. If you can afford to price match competitor’s deals, this is an easy win to keep your customers purchasing through your site if they’re already there.
Setup a simple embedded form on your site where shoppers can provide a link to the same product at a lower price. Then be ready to review these links, and reply quickly to the request with a coupon for the difference in price.
4. Mystery Coupons
While not a new idea in the realm of eCommerce, offering a mystery discount requires an action from your lead. Curious to find out what their mystery discount will be, subscribers are willing to click through to your site to uncover their discount – and getting these leads to your site is the ultimate goal and challenge during the holidays.
For an added benefit, give them a large discount but be sure it requires a minimum order amount so you can increase your AOV during this time. Or, part of the mystery deal could be rewarding customers with a shopping pass, so they will come back to shop again during a set period of time.
5. Cyber Monday Partners
If you have any notable partners, see if they'll give their employees time to shop on Cyber Monday. It's a work perk if they think about it, and since people are going to do it anyway it may behoove them to set an allotted time to shop. If your partners are game for it, give them an exclusive shopping pass on that day at your site that they can use during their free shopping hour. If your partner is also a eCommerce site, you can deal swap and give your employees a perk too.
While you might be able to use these ideas throughout the year, implementing these quick and easy concepts now is sure to add a bit more to your current Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing plan, and help convert traffic at crest of the holiday season.
Next: Prepare Your eCommerce Marketing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday - free Webinar from Privy
In our recent webinar, we discussed strategies and a playbook for making the most of this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday. From a marketers perspective, we cover ideas, schedules and a playbook for:
1. Driving holiday traffic from email and social media
2. Converting more ecommerce traffic using popups, abandoned carts and more techniques.
Enjoy the slides and recording below: