Amateur Email Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Making Them

Being in a rush
If you get too caught up in sending out you email NOW, you may be sending out content with no real purpose. Take a moment to think about what you want to accomplish with the email send. Who do you want to reach?  What do you want your readers to get out of it? Think about your content, layout and use a strong subject line. A meaningless marketing email will do you no favours.

 

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Not building segments
Think about your customers, will one email suit them all? It is important to build and use relevant segments in your database. This will give you more options when sending your emails to include/exclude certain demographics depending on whether the email is relevant to them or not. You will find by doing this your open rates will become higher and your unsubscribes lower as you are delivery relevant content that you know your customers will be interested in. Some popular segments to send to are location, age and interests. Again, it is always important to stop and think about who will gain the most from your email content.

Learn how to upload your data to a segment here. 

Learn how to build and send to your segments here.

Sending with personal email/ reply to addresses
For starters, it looks unprofessional, and by using your @google, @yahoo etc customers may question your businesses reliability . There is also a high chance that the client will not recognise the email address and immediately mark the message as spam. You can avoid all this by using your companies’ domain address.

 

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Not testing and analysing your send data
It is important to perform test sends as often as possible. If your test send is ending up in your spam folder, it’s more than likely ending up in your customers spam folder, which could see your 50% strong open rate drop to 15% without you even noticing.

If your unsubscribe rate are rising, it is really important to ask yourself why. Are you still in touch with your audience? Is your content still relevant?  What can I do to change this? For a guide to how to read your sent communications in SQUAWKBOX click here.

Some simple things you can do to improve open rates and prevent customers for unsubscribing  is  to start changing and tweaking details of your email, such as the frequency of the send, the send time, changing the subject line, or any other variables that can influence viewers.

 

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Weak subject line
The subject line is the first thing a customers sees and may dictate whether your email is opened or deleted. Your subject line needs to be relevant and interesting to your customers so it catch’s their attention and provokes their curiosity making them want to know what’s inside. Some simple tips are to always make the subject line brief, relevant and informative.

No call to action
Think about what you want to achieve with the email send. Would you like your customer to buy a product? Attend a class? Update their details? Complete a survey? Whatever it is, make it easy for them by including a simple clean call to action within the email.

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Introducing Ticketing!

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As a SQUAWKBOX user you now have access to our fantastic new ticketing system. This allows you to quickly and easily set up your own events and sell your own tickets plus all ticket purchasers will be automatically entered into your SQUAWKBOX account .

We’ll even set up your first event ticketing for you! 

Some great features of ticketing your event through us are:

  • Integration
    Via a secure API the ticketing system passes through your customer and purchasing data directly into  your SQUAWKBOX account.
    This means that from the event, we can automatically trigger a post event follow up email with an enticing offer / package to bring the customer back in to the venue.
  • Competitive Pricing
    There is no setup or subscription fees on ticketing.
    The per transaction fee is one of the lowest in the market at 2.2% plus $0.99 (plus a CC fee of 3%). You also have the option to pass this fee on to the purchaser or absorb the fee into the ticket price.
  • Mobile Optimization
    Your ticketing page is optimized for desktop and mobile.
    Last year that 67% of people purchased tickets to NYE events via mobile.
    Our mobile optimization allows the customer to have a great experience form start to finish.

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  • Doorlist Application
    With a simple, yet powerful design, the door app will allow the venue to check in guests in under TWO SECONDS per ticket.
    This app also allows consumers to continue purchasing tickets once the event has started as the door list is connected to the internet and will update automatically.
  • A “Go Viral” Feature
    You can create incentives and rewards for people who share the ticketing link and successfully get others to purchase tickets.
    This is a great way to encourage word-of-mouth referrals, which is regarded as the most effective and powerful advertising method.
  • Extremely Easy to Manage & Setup
    The website design is super clean and easy to navigate, plus we will even set up the first event for you.
  • Support
    There is a 24/7 ticketing support team for venues should you ever need assistance or have any questions.


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Hyperlapse

What is it & what does it do?

Hyperlapse is the latest video editing app released by Instagram that allows you to film videos on your iPhone or iPad and then determine the speed the video is played. This is called time lapsing. The videos produced come out looking highly polished and cinematic thanks to the apps automatic stabilization feature. Best of all: it’s FREE!

Sharing & Editing

Hyperlapse gives you seven different speeds to choose from: 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x and 12x. When filming, you can also adjust the light settings to make a darker shot appear lighter by tapping on the screen where light is needed.

Even with an automatic stabilization feature, Hyperlapse videos tend to be produced better if the camera is mostly still when filming and things are moving around it. Alternately if you do want to move the camera try to be as smooth as possible – the more jumpy the camera when filming, the more messy your video will look when you speed it up.

Videos created through Hyperlapse can be shared directly to Facebook and Instagram or can be saved to your camera roll. If you want to add music to your video, save the video to your camera roll and then use an additional app like Lomotif to add music and title’s to the video. Lomotif also gives you the option to square the video to Instagram’s screen size and stops the video at 15 seconds – Instagram’s maximum video length. Lomotif also gives you a few more options once completed including saving the video to your camera roll, posting to social media or sharing with friends via SMS, Dropbox, WhatsApp etc.

Marketing

Hyperlapse is already being utilised for some very big companies marketing activities including Mercedes Benz USA, Oreo and The North Face. You can check out some of their Hyperlapse videos here.  How you use Hyperlapse for your marketing is up to you but from experience, the more you play around with the app the more ideas you will come up with! Some great ideas we’ve had are:

-          The making of a cocktail

-          Foot traffic at your venue

-          Giving a tour of your business

-          Showcasing products

-          How-to demonstrations

Filming pretty much any activity with motion can make for a cool video when sped up. If you are after some inspiration search the hashtag #hyperlapse on Instagram.

Impact Data has been trialling Hyperlapse all week. The below was filmed this morning in South Yarra, Victoria over 3 minutes and then sped up x12. We added the music and text using Lomotif.

 

Important things to remember:

-          Instagram only allows for 15 second videos however you can create longer ones to put onto Facebook which allows for 20 minutes or 1GB – whichever is smallest.

-          The more stable you are while filming your video, the smoother it will look sped up

-          Once the video is saved you cannot go back and change the speed

-          Don’t spin around in circles and then speed the video up – it WILL make you feel motion sick

Hyperlapse is currently only available for Apple products but an android version is expected soon.

You can download Hyperlapse from the iTunes store here and Lomotif here.

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Signup Buttons

We’re exited to announce the arrival of signup buttons in Squawkbox.

A signup button is small button you add to your website that launches a signup form in a popup.  This is a tidy way to let people  join your database without adding extra pages  to your website or messing with your website design.

For example, if your website looks like this,

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adding a signup button might look like this.

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Clicking the button will launch a popup like this.

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You can change the colour, size, and text on the button and the text on the popup.

All Squawkbox accounts now come with a working signup button, ready to go out of the box.  To get started go to  Tools > Forms > Signup Button in your account.

Enjoy,
Matt

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Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability

You may have heard a bit about Heartbleed recently. The announcement last week of a flaw in the open source software, which provides the SSL encryption for most of the biggest sites on the internet, sent many of us scrambling to update our servers.

The bug was caused by a pretty simple coding mistake – essentially just failing to validate some inputs – but the ramifications of this vulnerability were very serious. Under the right circumstances, an attacker could trick the server into revealing data which was held in the server’s memory. This could include usernames, passwords, and other sensitive data, but most dangerous of all, this could have led to the revealing of the private encryption keys which are used to protect the privacy and integrity of data that is transferred across the internet.

The patch to the OpenSSL software was quickly released, removing the cause of the vulnerability. But, because the integrity of encryption keys had been compromised, all security certificates had to be revoked, reissued, and installed on any affected server - after the patched version of OpenSSL had been installed.

What does this mean for me?

Our SMART platform (all accounts through the www.impactdata.com.au login portal) was unaffected by this bug. If you only use the Smart platform, you don’t need to do anything.

Our SQUAWKBOX platform uses OpenSSL to encrypt internet traffic, so it was affected by this bug. Thanks to the rapid response from technical team at Impact Data, working with our hosting provider, we were able to quickly roll out the security patches only hours after the bug was announced last Tuesday. Our security certificates were then revoked, reissued by the provider, and reinstalled.

The platform is up-to-date with the most recent security and encryption software, but there remains the possibility that your password may have been compromised before the security update was installed. As a precautionary measure, we advise that you change your password.

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Privacy Law Reforms Are Coming!

Privacy law reforms are coming into affect as of March 12th. These reforms apply specifically to businesses with a turnover of more than $3M per annum. If you are in this category, you must act. If you’re not, we still suggest you take note of these new reforms in order to follow best practices.

What is Impact Data doing?

As you well know Impact Data have made compliance free and easy, and irrespective of turnover we will continue to ensure all of our clients have the information and ability to adhere to all legal regulations and best practices.

Over the coming weeks the Impact Data team will be available to offer a free explanation of the 13 new Australian Privacy Principles, a consultation, data refresh campaign, as well as an individualised privacy policy and collection statement for your business. We will be available to all existing and new customers who contact us prior to 12 March 2014.

Impact Data’s software has been designed to provide our users with a workflow which naturally addresses the standards demanded by Australian legislation – specifically the Spam Act and the new reforms to the Privacy Act. Our consultation will review relevant new standards under the new Privacy Principals and show you how the Impact Data software inherently addresses these requirements. We have worked closely with our lawyers to ensure that our software and in turn – you, are ready and compliant.

Please be aware that our consultation does not constitute legal advice and you should seek your own independent advice to ensure your business is fully compliant with any Australian legislation. Impact Data would be happy to discuss these concepts with you and we are happy to make introductions to our legal experts in the field who are also familiar with Impact Data products.

What does that mean for me?

On 12 March 2014 the Federal government will introduce reforms to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). These reforms signal changes as to how we handle and use personal information. If you have an Impact Data account or perform any direct marketing we suggest you contact us so we can take you through our Privacy Reform ready checklist.

The Privacy Act seeks to protect individuals from the unfair or unauthorised use of their personal information.

As direct marketers we are required to gather, hold and use personal information in the course of contacting individuals with marketing information. We should all be familiar with the Spam Act 2003 (Cth) and the best practices demanded by this legislation and the enforcing body the ACMA. With the reforms to the Privacy Act there are 13 new Australian Privacy Principals (APPs). We need to be aware of these new APPs and take all reasonable steps to address them in our business practices.

Please Note: all Impact Data users will receive details of the product upgrades closer to 12 March.

 

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Sporting Events 2014

January:

MAJOR EVENTS

29/01/2014 – Twenty20 International Cricket: 1st Match Aus Vs England – Hobart
31/01/2014 – Twenty20 International Cricket: 1st Match Aus Vs England – Melbourne

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The SQUAWKBOX Great-Value Checklist

SQUAWKBOX is a fantastic tool for maximising your marketing output while minimising the time and effort required. However, we often find some of our clients aren’t making the most of the “SQUAWKBOX Great-Value” effect. Check out our checklist for a great-value account and see if your account ticks all the boxes!

1. Automated Messages for Every Occasion

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We tried for a while to come up with a snazzy line for this one and the best we got was: if its got a date then automate. It’s lame, we know, but so are most of our staff! Basically what it comes down to though is:

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Be Part of Deakin Uni OWeek!

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What?

OWeek (short for Orientation Week) is one of the most popular periods of the University calendar. It give students their first taste of Uni life and involves a range of activities!

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Support Chat Now Available

SQUAWKBOX support chat isn’t a new feature, but if you get stuck it is one of the quickest ways to get assistance from our team. Check it out below!

1. Open a Support Chat Session

On any page of your SQUAWKBOX account you will find a black box titled ‘support’ hovering to the left side of your screen. To open a support chat session simply click on this box and select the ‘find someone to chat with’ option. Note: from here you can also submit a support ticket for more complex requests.

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