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Communicating Professionally with Email

AWG held a lunch and learn this week titled “Communicating Professionally”. Those of us who attended received many good takeaways from the session. We even had a chance to partner up and practice listening techniques and demonstrate what NOT to do. I would like to share some tips we were given on using email as a form of communication in business. Be concise and to the point. Your reader should not have to scroll down the page to read a single email. This of course is acceptable if they are reading an entire email string in conversation view. When responding to someone’s email, answer all questions. Have you ever been excited to get a response you have eagerly been waiting for only to find out all your questions were not answered? If you don’t know the answer to all of them, refer to someone who can help. Pre-empt relevant questions if you are able to. This will provide efficiency for your reader. Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. I don’t think I need to expand on this, but I will. Improper…

emfluence And Then Some 2018 Recap

I attended the And Then Some conference hosted by emfluence on August 24. It was a day full of ways to improve your email marketing. After the conference they sent a list of “10 things to do post-conference.” Not only is this a great example of email marketing, but it makes my job recapping the conference easier, so I really appreciated it.   #1 GDPR – The GDPR deadline came and went a couple months ago. The biggest thing that has come from it so far is that no one was truly prepared for the requirements. No more checking permission boxes automatically. Tell people exactly what information you will be collecting from them. Don’t collect more information than you need. If you can make these changes right away that will help a lot. These regulations are coming to the US, so it would be smart to get ahead of it. #2 Post-Sale Series – If you make a sale, add a new subscriber, or anything similar add that address to a workflow to send them a series of emails explaining…

Social Media Giveaways Breakfast

Social Media Giveaways & Contests (Recap)

I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Melanie just tell us that we can’t have contests on Facebook anymore?” Yes. Yes, I did. However, the latest Social Media Club – KC breakfast, “Social Media Contests and Giveaways,” was about more than the “Like, Comment, Share” Facebook contests I was referring to in that blog post. During this Q&A panel, Kasim Hardaway (founder, TKC Agency) and Brandon Painter (content manager, Barkley), discussed the various ways you can use contests and giveaways on all social media (not just Facebook) to build a following, gather information and analytics, and even generate content from your customers! Here are some of the highlights. Be Prepared, Have a Plan & Communicate Kasim recommends having a clear strategy for your social media contest or giveaway. Don’t have a contest just for the sake of having one. Do you want to increase your followers on a social platform? Do you want to collect email addresses for your email database? Do you want to gather user-generated content (UGC)? Determine your end goal for the contest and start from there. Kasim…

Grocer Pod – Episode 7

After a short break we are back with a new name – Grocer Pod. The name may be new, but our mission is the same. This month we are talking email with David Cacioppo from emfluence (3:25). Then Marie Lewis stops by to talk food safety (14:16). Finally, Nicholas Segura and Ruby Montoya from Segura Marketing join me to discuss marketing to the Hispanic community (24:50).  

Subject Lines, Like Headlines, Are The Only Thing You Read

I attended the Digital Summit – Kansas City on May 16-17. Over two days I was able to see presentation on everything from podcasts to SEO from a variety of industry experts. The highlight for me was a four hour workshop on email. Honestly, I could write 10 blog posts about what I learned from Michael Barber. Perhaps I will in the future. Today we focus on subject lines. I hate to break it to you, but most people aren’t opening your emails. That means the subject line is often the only part of your campaign that anyone reads. They can quite literally make or break an email marketing campaign. How much thought are you putting into subject lines? We all know that the audience is busy and needs a reason to open your email. Should you include prices? For a long time we thought prices were a one way ticket the spam folder. Not only is that not true anymore, but having a price in the subject line increases click-through-rates by 246 percent. “Worth” and “deal” increase 134 and…

Optimizing Omni-Channel Grocery Shopping

Marketing Communications Strategies for Independent Grocery Retailers If you’ve read my past blog posts or follow me on social media, you know I’ve been busy with graduate school for the past three years in addition to working at AWG. Good news: after a full year of researching, writing and finally defending, I have competed my thesis and graduated with my master’s degree from Mizzou! So what does this mean for you? I’ve condensed my 80-page thesis down to a quick summary of what I learned. The What The lovely title of this blog post is also the title of my thesis. In layman’s terms: I studied how independent grocery retailers (like AWG members) can successfully market and communicate their online grocery shopping offerings to their customers to secure sales online and in-stores. I did this through marketing email communications. The Why Besides the fact that I work at AWG each day and have a vested interest in helping our retailers, omni-channel grocery shopping (online and in-store shopping options) is constantly evolving and grabbing headlines in the news. For example: “By…

Content Marketing Demystified

Content Marketing Demystified (IABC Summit Keynote Address Recap)

If you work with me or any other AWG digital specialist on your digital marketing, you’ve probably heard us discuss content marketing. But what exactly is content marketing? It’s not just about the content we post on your social media profiles, your website or your blog. It’s the strategy behind the content that’s being posted. I recently attended the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC. The keynote speaker was Quinn Tempest, a digital marketing strategist and graphic designer from Phoenix. Her presentation was titled “Content Marketing Demystified” and she covered the myths of content marketing and the lessons she’s learned about content marketing throughout her career working with various companies and individuals. Quinn describes content marketing as “the art of providing relevant, useful content to your prospects without selling or interrupting them.” She asserts that instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your audience more informed before they buy. The goal is to deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information your customers/prospects so that they will ultimately reward you with their business…

email icon with crown

Email is Still King

My name plate may say “Web Designer” however give me a little time and I can design a mean little custom email that gets hits on your website. You would think emails would eventually phase out over time, but they are getting stronger, even among your millennial customers. Adobe (think Adobe Acrobat .pdf files) who develops WAY more tools than Photoshop put together a survey about emails last August. About a 1000 white-collar workers took the survey about consumer emails. It seems this is a pretty popular topic. I first found this article from (I know) a monthly email I get from webdesignerdepot.com, more or less. After reading the article: “Adobe Reveals the Secrets of Email”, I noticed a link to an article on the Adobe website: “Consumers are still email obsessed, but they’re finding more balance”. THEN I found a rather dry overview of the survey results and a SlideShare in LinkedIn. So out of these three resources, I tried to pick out the topics our retailers might be interested in, then I’m sprinkling in personal comments on how…

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