With all of the new laws going into effect and ongoing discussion about data transparency, the time is now to clean up your opt-in process to ensure that you are growing your list both effectively and with integrity.Read More
There isn’t a marketer out there who doesn’t want to increase traffic to their site, drive more conversions, and ultimately be more effective at their jobs. While all of these things sound great, they’re often easier said than done. Many marketers become their own worst enemies by over complicating or over simplifying their strategies.Read More
What do marshmallows have to do with mobile design? Find out when Lauren asks our graphic designer a few questions about designing for mobile devices including why mobile design matters, and how you can design for mobile devices using Privy.Read More
Join Lauren and Erica as they break down these buzzwords in a fun game of Heads Up! Made famous by one of our favorite customers, Ellen Degenerous, this game uses a charades-esque guessing technique and dynamic teamwork to make remembering things a little more fun. Comment with some of your favorite buzzwords or suggestions on what buzzwords we should break down next.Read More
Although flash sales have evolved over the years, merchants still use this tactic to drive sales, attract new customers, and promote their brand. When run well, flash sales can grow your bottom line and your business.Read More
Let's be honest: You didn't start your business or join a company to do menial, routine admin work. When you're stuck copying and pasting, you're left with little time to actually grow and improve your business.Read More
On today's installment of How Does This Sh!t Work, Josh and Meg discuss internet cookies and the recipe to audience targeting.
What are internet cookies?
A cookie is just one or more pieces of information stored as text strings on your computer. When you visit a website, a web server sends you a “cookie” (aka a short snippet of text) and that makes it possible for them to track what you are doing and serve you a more customized experience. Your browser stores this information, and then returns the cookie to the server the next time the page is referenced.
Can cookies give my computer viruses?
Nope! They're just short text strings, they're not storing any information that can impact your computer. They can often make browsing better by allowing a server to recall customized information and serve you more relevant content.
What do they have to do with Privy?
Cookies are a way you can use audience targeting within Privy to deliver more relevant messages to the visitors on your site. You can target users by how many times they've been to your site, what device they're using, location and many more.
What’s the point of audience targeting? Do you actually see results?
Absolutely, audience targeting can be super impactful. It's like deciding if you want to say one message to everyone, or say a much more targeted message to different subsections of visitors. For example, imagine just saying "Hi" to everyone on the street that passes by, not recognizing that you may know them. Instead, you could target users who you know have been to your site before and say "Welcome back!". This allows you to build that positive relationship with the site visitor, and since you've recognized that they've been to your site before, you can suggest more relevant content.
"Welcome back" campaigns, are great for people who have been to your site before and not made a purchase. Another great way to use audience targeting is country based - for example, we have several customers who have different shipping rules for different countries, so they targets their messages accordingly.
If targeting by device, for mobile, using "second page visited during a session" targeting condition as a great way to avoid google penalties and let visitors see what you're all about before you ask them to sign up.
Want to learn more about audience targeting?
These new templates are the perfect blank slate for any campaign and make the display editing process a breeze. Their clean backgrounds and bold text cause your offer stand out from the background and make your message loud and clear.Read More
Launching a campaign on your website using Privy is pretty easy. In fact, it usually only takes a few minutes to get a good looking pop up up and running. But taking an extra breath to think through what you are trying to achieve can make a huge difference. Here are 7 questions worth answering before you jump on in.Read More
Emails are like a sandwich. The contents don’t work well together when there aren’t two stable, delicious ingredients to hold it all together. In any email, your header and footer are your bread, and your body text, images, and links are the sandwich toppings. Let’s talk about how to make some good bread that will get people to want to take a bite of your tasty content.
No matter your what you sell, your header image should have a few things:
Your brand colors and fonts
Your business or newsletter name
When making an email header, consider making at least two versions; one design to use for generic emails, and maybe a couple others themed around special promotions or email series you are running. Although these headers may be featuring different content, don’t let the themes make you lose sight of your brand.
Themed Headers (Free downloads)
Before we buckle down on consistency in our brand marketing, let’s talk about a few different header themes you can use.
Let’s start from the beginning of your relationship with your email list, the welcome email. You want to thank your subscriber for joining your list and also give them a taste of your brand’s colors and voice.
Our final email touchpoint we’ll discuss are for the coupon delivery and coupon reminder emails. This type of header image should evoke excitement and urgency. Using bright colors and friendly language, you can capture your viewers attention and make them excited to redeem their offer.
An easy way to make a message seem urgent is by typing it in all caps. People mostly read this as shouting and will immediately feel the enthusiasm in your email’s voice. With that said, do not make everything in all caps, as you might just scare your viewer away. Instead, type a short phrase or single word like “DON’T MISS OUT!” or “HURRY!”. That way they get your sense of urgency without feeling like they’re being yelled at.
Finally, you don’t want to hype your viewer up and then give them nowhere to go, harness that excitement and drive them to your site right away! Remember to always include the coupon code in the body of your email and a call to action button or link that drives the viewer directly to your site.
Feel free to download any of these header images here. Although these were created in photoshop, you can also make make simple, delightful email headers in Privy’s drag and drop email designer.
How to Use Header Images in Privy
If you’re using a pre-made image vs. building the header in Privy’s designer, you can simply add a single element row to the top of your email, add an image block, upload your image, and adjust the padding accordingly. If this is your first time using our drag and drop email builder, check out my blog post on how to design beautiful emails in Privy.
If you’re creating your own header in Privy, you’ll want to plan what you’re going to include in your header. If you’re doing a generic header with just a logo and email series name, grab the 2 section row that has a small block and a longer block, it looks like this:
Then you can add an image block into the small section where you’ll import your logo, and then add a text block to the larger portion where you’ll write your company name or email series title. You can also change the background color of the row to further separate it from the rest of the email. When you’re done it could look something like this:
If you’re having trouble working with the padding of the objects, you can click the “More Options” switch and alter the padding from each side.
Another popular layout for headers uses the 3 section row. This layout is great for uploading your logo in the middle and leaving the two sides empty giving room for your logo to shine. You can also add a single section row underneath that is great for company slogans, the name of your company (if not already in the logo), or email series title. This is what it could look like:
Whether you’re making your own header images and uploading them or creating your headers in Privy, there are a ton of creative possibilities when it comes to our drag and drop email builder. If you’re a HTML expert and want a little more control, you can always switch to our HTML email builder by clicking the reset template button to the left of the save button.
Now, we aren’t doing that open sandwich BS, we need that second piece of bread, aka, the footer! (Yes, I will take all the carbs thank you) Here is what you should have in your footer:
Let’s break these sections down. For your contact information you want to at the very least include a link back to your site and your contact email address. If you’re a physical business it’s important that you update your address in the account settings section as it’s a legal requirement, and you always want your contact information to be up to date.
Some common links found in footers are social media links, a sign up link, and/or a link to update their profile on your site. You can find free social media icons to use here. Another helpful link for viewers is a “View in browser” link. That way if elements aren’t loading properly in their email app, they can view it better in another application.
Designing Your Footer in Privy
Since we have a lot of different things to link to, it’s best to build your footer natively in Privy. Start this by adding a few rows to the bottom of your email. In my example, I used a single column row, a four column row, and then another single column row. Then, I added text elements to the two single column rows and image elements to the four column sections. I used the text above the image to give context to my social media icons, and the text below the icons for the rest of my fine print.
Once you’ve uploaded your social icons, be sure to link them to the respective channels by going to the right side panel and adding a click through link. The key to having a successful footer is keeping it subtle and simple. Stylistically, you’ll want to let your header and body text take the show by keeping your footer in greyscale and using smaller text. Here is an example with some of the elements we just discussed:
In our case, I used our more subtle purple color for our social media icons to help them stand out from the fine print of my footer, but also not visually distract from the rest of the email. And then I linked them to each of our social accounts.
DAMN! Now That’s a Good Sandwich
Once you’ve picked (or made) the best bread and filled it with amazing contents, you’ve got a damn good sandwich! (or email in this metaphor). If you’re looking for more resources about our email designer feel free to head to help.privy.com or hit us up in chat, we’re happy to help! All this talk about sandwiches is making me hungry, I gotta go eat a real sandwich STAT. Until next time, happy creating!
Guest post from Si Quan Ong at Referral Candy
Some of the largest and most popular companies today were built on the back of successful referral programs.
We’re talking about commonplace names like Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, and PayPal.
While you might have noticed that the names above are mostly tech companies, referral programs can be just as powerful for ecommerce stores.
Look no further than the world’s largest ecommerce retailer, Amazon, who has invested greatly in building a successful referral program that drives tons of customers for them.
Which means -- the missing puzzle piece in your customer acquisition efforts -- could be a referral program.
And the best part is - if you already have a great product that your customers love, a referral program can help to incentivize your best customers, and supercharge word-of-mouth for you bringing down your cost of acquisition and increasing your revenue.
That get you started, here’s a guide to developing a profitable referral program for your store.
Let’s dive right in.
Why Referral Programs
Why are referral programs so powerful?
Spreading the word about positive experiences is second nature to us as humans – and that’s what referral marketing is, except that referral marketing is a deliberate way of influencing people to talk specifically about your products and services.
A staggering 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. And according to McKinsey & Company, people also pay twice the attention to recommendations from friends. Furthermore, referred customers are proven to be more loyal and bring you higher profit margins (up to 25 per cent higher than non-referred customers!
But if that is the case, why aren’t your customers spreading the word for you? If word-of-mouth is so powerful, why aren’t they bringing in more customers for you?
Here’s a sad truth - 83% of satisfied consumers indicated that they are willing to refer your products to their friends, but only 29% of them ACTUALLY do it.
Huh? Why the discrepancy?
Because customers are forgetful and distracted. When the “exact moment” to share your product with their friends is over (usually after they just purchased your product, or experienced something wonderful), there is no longer any reason for them to tell their friends about it.
So if you want more customers to your store, you simply cannot leave this up to chance.
You’ll have to find some way to incentivize them, keep your product top-of-mind, and encourage them to share with all their friends.
A referral program.
Setting Up Your Referral Program
Creating an effective referral program isn’t as hard as it sounds. You can easily integrate your store with referral program solutions like ReferralCandy, and begin setting up your soon-to-be-profitable referral program.
Then, once you’ve connected the app with your ecommerce store, pay attention to these three components.
1. Getting your incentives right
In general, there are two types of incentives to consider: The referral reward (for customers who successfully refer your products), and the friend offer (an incentive for referred friends to purchase your products).
For referral rewards, you need to figure out if your customers are likely to make repeat purchases. If they are, your best bet would be to provide discounts (cash discounts for products above $100, and percentage discounts for products below $100).
If not, discounts would be useless, so reward them with cash instead. If you’re offering pre-orders, you can consider cash discounts as an incentive.
As for friend offers, the key question to ask is this: What do your customers care about the most? Find out what motivates them, and what they want, and tailor the incentive to match their needs.
2. Getting your messaging right
To work towards a message that creates a memorable referral program your patrons would want to share with their friends, you should know what your value proposition is, and reflect that in your referral messaging.
Take a look at the example above. As a cloud storage company, Dropbox knew what its biggest value to their customers were. Space.
With a referral program using strong but simple messaging (“get free space”), Dropbox created one of the most successful referral programs of all time.
Bear in mind how your product solves a certain problem for your customers, and how your customers want to help their friends solve the same problem.
These factors will motivate your consumers to take part in a referral program.
3. Getting your referral emails right
Crafting an email may seem simple, but is in fact one of the hardest things to get it right.
The first thing you must get down is your subject line. The Privy blog has tons of articles on how to write a good subject line, but here’s the biggest thing you should remember:
Be clear, not clever.
According to a 2011 survey by AWeber Communications, a clear subject line (e.g. “10 new fonts for your marketing campaigns”) receives 541 per cent more clicks than a clever one (e.g. “It’s finally here!”).
State upfront why they should open the email. Tell them what they expect to find - and then fulfill that expectation.
After you’ve gotten your subject line down pat, you should keep the email simple and easy to understand. Always remember the golden rule from Steve Krug - “don’t make them think.”
If the recipient has to figure out how to take the next step, he or she would rather move on to something more important (like cat videos) than refer their friends to you.
Keep the email short and to the point, and end it off with a clear call-to-action that drives home the message.
Lastly, focus on tapping into your customer’s main purchase motivation, and highlighting how a referral benefits both the referrer and the referee (not forgetting the conditions of the deal).
Promoting Your Referral Program
Now that you’ve set up your referral program, the next step is to promote it.
Airbnb famously botched up their first referral program by not promoting it (even their internal employees didn’t even know they had one!) They eventually managed to salvage the situation by emphasizing on promotion.
Be sure to invite past and existing customers to take part, update your website (especially on the home page) with details of the referral program and a relevant call-to-action, and promote it on social media – the easiest and most affordable way to reach out to the masses.
You can also implement post-purchase pop-ups that invite patrons to the referral program.
Customers are often most likely to support a brand further after buying a product, receiving the product, and solving a problem with the product. Don’t miss the prime opportunity after a purchase to ask for a referral!
Finally, email reminders are useful for keeping the referral program at the top of your consumers’ minds, but make sure not to overwhelm them with spam mail.
Measuring and Optimizing
After successfully creating a referral program, you’ll want to optimize it and strengthen its ROI.
The most obvious strategy is to get as many eyes on your referral program as possible, using the promotional tactics previously listed.
Master the art of writing referral emails to maximize conversions, and appeal to the inner motivations of your customers through copy and visuals.
Creating a Profitable Referral Program
As with any marketing strategy, it takes effort and skill to convert a simple referral program into higher sales and revenue.
Nonetheless, with this guide dispensing top tips in every step of the way, the process of developing a successful referral program won’t seem as daunting as before.
Si Quan Ong is the Content Marketing Manager at ReferralCandy. ReferralCandy has helped thousands of ecommerce stores run successful referral programs. Try ReferralCandy free for 30 days here.
Over the last couple of months our product team has been busy exterminating bugs and responding to common feature requests that we think are a win for everyone. Check out what’s new in Privy!
A/B Testing Enhancements: Forms, Offers, and More
With our latest update, users on our Growth and Enterprise plans can now run tests to determine the right number form fields and/or different which offers perform best. And you now can sync contacts to different lists based on which test variation they signed up for. Read more.
See Each User’s Privy Activity Feed
If you're on any of our paid feature plans you will now see a detailed activity feed for every contact who has signed up through one of your Privy forms. With the activity feed, you can see what campaigns they have signed up for, each session, emails they’ve received from your Privy account, what products they have viewed and orders they’ve placed (Shopify Only), and more.
Just visit the contacts tab and click on any contact to see their feed.
Insert Multiple Coupon Codes into Spin to Win Campaigns
You can now insert multiple saved coupons into a Spin to Win campaign. That means you can choose from any of the the discounts on the coupons tab that you have already created for Shopify and BigCommerce stores.
To add a saved coupon, go to the “configure wheel slices” section of your campaign, choose “saved coupon” and then pick the one you want.
Set Up Your Custom Sending Domain for Autoresponders and Other Emails
If you haven’t already set up your custom sending domain - the ability to send emails that come from your domain instead of ours - then it’s worth taking a few minutes today to get it done.
Customize Your Sharing Icons
Through Privy’s integration with ShareThis you can now customize the social links you include on your displays and thank you pages. Choose which networks you want to share on, what page should be shared, and how the share links appear right from with the elements section of the display designer.
Import Mailable Contacts for Newsletters and Announcements
If you’ve built a list of contacts somewhere outside of Privy, you can now import that list and send newsletters and announcements to those subscribers with our email add-on.
To do this, use the .csv import tool within Privy to upload your contacts. Our team will review your list and then send you a note to confirm that you are good to go. If you’re importing from Constant Contact or Mailchimp, you can actually do that automatically by clicking "Import from Linked Account" on the contacts tab.
Note: We can only import name and email address fields at this time and will not approve purchased lists. In addition, imported and approved contacts now count towards your scaling email pricing.
Are you putting the right processes in place to protect your customer’s privacy? Even if you’re not directly serving customers in the EU, you could land your online business in even hotter water than the current laws would, under new GDPR laws.
GDPR is an upcoming change in the way personal data is stored by companies. It affects any business who collect customer data. (Which, let’s face it, is almost every business - on or offline).
We know that running an online business can be tough at the best of times. But with the GDPR legislation posing huge fines on businesses who aren’t compliant, this guide will save time when digging for information on the checks you’ll need to make.
What is GDPR?
GDPR, which is short for the General Data Protection Regulation, is a new law which affects how the data of EU citizens is kept. It’s the biggest shake-up in legislation since the Data Protection Act of 1998, and comes into play from on May 25, 2018.
These new rules have a huge impact on how small and large businesses store, collect and use the data they’ve generated from customers - including names, addresses and more importantly, emails.
Think about it: How many spam emails make their way to your inbox every day? Although they’re often stored away in the Junk folder, they still exist. GDPR aims to change that, and tackle the 14.5 billion spam messages sent every day.
How GDPR Affects eCommerce Brands
The GDPR laws affect any business that deals with customers in the EU. So if you’re a U.S-based company with as little as one customer in the U.K, you’ll still need to be compliant with GDPR laws.
But what are those laws, and how do they affect eCommerce brands?
You Need Explicit Permission
Well, one of them affects how you collect customer data.
You’ll need explicit permission to email your customers, and they have complete control over the marketing material you send to them.
Remember that not all people are automatically ‘mailable’. People who’ve signed-up to your lead magnet might not be fully aware that they’re joining your mailing list at the same time, so you’ll need to make sure this is clearly stated on all opt-in forms.
Here at Privy, we’re helping businesses with a focus on email marketing to be compliant. We automatically handle email opt-ins in a GDPR compliant manner, but it’s important to ensure that all of your data-related software is compliant, too.
Customers Have Complete Control of Their Data
GDPR also gives customers the right to completely control their data privacy.
If they no longer wish to hear from your company, they must be able to opt-out immediately - and not have to go through a lengthy unsubscribing process.
Your customers will also have the power to request the data you hold on them at any time. If you aren’t able to do this, or spend too much time giving it to them, you could land yourself in hot water.
4 Ways to Prepare Your Online Business for GDPR
If your eCommerce business is found to be non-compliant with GDPR legislation after the introduction date, you could be fined up to €20 million (approximately $24.6 million USD) , or 4% annual global turnover.
But, if you read that with an overwhelming surge of panic, don’t worry.
We’ve listed four easy steps to help your business prepare for the new GDPR law:
1. Understand Your Customer’s Journey
The first step to prepare your eCommerce business for GDPR is to understand your customer’s journey.
Now, if you’re confused by this or already think you know your sales funnels to a T, I urge you not to skip this step!
You might find that you’re automatically collecting data on people before they become a customer. This can happen if you’re exporting the email addresses of your LinkedIn connections, or using data from your analytics to contact customers who haven’t yet chosen to hear from you.
Since these people might not have explicitly opted-in to hear from your brand, you could be GDPR non-compliant... without realizing.
Remember how we mentioned that customers can request to see the data you hold on them at any given time?
3. Appoint a Data Protection Officer
It’s also recommended that you appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to handle all GDPR-related issues at your company. They’re responsible for making sure your business is compliant, and could:
- Educate your staff keep them up-to-speed with the law
- Ensure all process are GDPR-compliant
- Handle requests from customers about viewing or deleting the data held on them
Now, if you’re a large-scale company, appointing a DPO is a legal requirement. In this case, it might be wise to appoint someone on your legal, data or IT team to be your business’ DPO.
Small businesses with less than 250 employees aren’t obliged to appoint a DPO, but having one person to control your business’ relationship with data is still a great idea.
A manager from your marketing team or the CEO could take-on this role, but remember to assign it to a person with the most experience in data-related tasks. (For example, an email marketer might be more suitable than a warehouse worker.)
But if you’re a one-man band, it’s your duty to become your business’ DPO!
4. Be Aware of Processes for Data Breaches
Although new GDPR rules mainly focus on how customers control their data, you mustn’t forget about reporting data breaches.
Whether you accidentally placed a file containing customer details in a public folder, or you made a mistake with uploading data to your software, a data breach happens when you haven’t protected the data you hold.
Data breaches - no matter how small - must be reported within 78 hours.
Educating yourself on the process of reporting a data breach can be found on the GDPR website. Not only will you save time (and avoid a fine), but you’ll know the best practices for informing your customers about the issues with their data.
If you have any questions about upcoming GDPR laws and how it affects you as a Privy customer, we’d be happy to help. Let’s tackle data protection one email at a time!
We sat down with Tyler Sullivan from Bombtech Golf about starting and growing his business, engaging with customers at scale, and marketing his business exclusively online.
Tell me about your business! What do you sell and why is it awesome?
I sell golf clubs direct-to-consumer. The way our model works is a combination of manufacturing our own brand and disrupting original sales models that involve sponsoring pros and selling in retail. The end result is that our customer receives performance and value.
Our team is super lean, with only three in-house full time employees. I personally work around 15-20 hours a week on the business. Basically, our team breaks down to:
Customer Service Representative
What inspired you to start Bombtech Golf?
I started it as a passion project as I was obsessed with golf. I had no intentions of growing it to the size it is today!
Do you remember your first sale?
I remember when I first realized that this was something really worth pursuing. I was sailing on my boat (before you picture me reclining on a luxury yacht, don’t!) And a sale came in. The concept of making money while doing something is else was mind boggling and inspiring.
This year, we’ll do $6M in revenue and I’m blown away by that response. We’ve been growing at 50-100% each year.
How do you go about marketing your business?
100 percent of our marketing is done online. We drive a lot of business from Facebook, our group, and email. Our main focus is on engaging with our customers and potential customers at scale.
And we generate authentic content and have built a loyal audience by offering outstanding customer service and doing whatever it takes to make a customer happy.
What types of offers work best for you?
Our price points are typically so competitive we can sell without discounting, so we use coupons when we need to and prefer bundling to increase perceived value.
What else besides Privy is in your tech stack?
Not much besides Privy! We use BigCommerce for our website, Klaviyo for email, and In Stock Notify for our merchandise.
What are some of your biggest business or marketing challenges?
Trying to be patient with such incredible growth! We are growing at an insane rate and always want to raise the bar. We are fortunate to have sold over 150,000 clubs and hope to break eight figures next year!
Advice to other entrepreneurs or small businesses?
Keep it simple. If your offer isn't right, nothing else works.
You won’t need a mulligan to enjoy these products. Head to the 18th green to see Bombtech Golf’s selection of golf clubs.