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18 Email Newsletter Examples We Love Getting in Our Inboxes

Let’s say a salesperson comes up to you and says, “Here’s something you should know about.” If you don’t see this person as a trustworthy, knowledgeable source, you probably have no reason to listen.

Let’s replace the salesperson with your cousin Dave. The odds of you listening to what Dave has to say likely goes up, depending on your relationship with Dave and the topic he’s leaning into.

Now let’s replace Dave with an expert in the field who has done extensive research on the topic using a variety of credible sources. This expert also has the background to simplify and provide context to the topic. Now you have a reason to listen (and not just because you’re related).

Done well, an email newsletter is like the expert in the field of your email marketing efforts.

The curation serves to up-level the journalistic quality of your content, which results in two things:

  • Increases the value you provide
  • Improves your authority and credibility in your audience’s eyes

When people first start doing email marketing, they often assume they need an email newsletter. However, newsletters are only effective when done well.

“It’ll have everything our customers care about, all in one place,” they rationalize. “Our list will be different — people will actually look forward to getting our newsletter,” they argue. “Since we’re only sending it once a month, it’ll be a breeze to put together,” they say.

And while all of those things may become true for a few lucky individuals, lots of email newsletters flop. They become an uninteresting mush of content people automatically ignore, archive, delete, or straight up unsubscribe from. And this isn’t great for you, your metrics, or your company’s success.

So if you’re thinking about creating an email newsletter, keep on reading. In this post, we’ll cover:

Email Newsletter Ideas

Email newsletters can include a weekly round-up of blog posts, case studies regarding your product or service, upcoming company events and webinars, or even a behind-the-scenes look at your company.

Of course, you don’t want to create a newsletter just for the sake of creating one — instead, you should do thorough research on what your audience might prefer, and what your company is well-suited to offer.

If you’re looking for general email newsletter inspiration, you’re in luck. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ideas for email newsletters:

  • Round-up of popular or recent blog posts or videos
  • New job openings at your company
  • New case studies or product launches
  • Membership/customer deals and promotions
  • New best practices or tips
  • Industry news
  • Quotes
  • Recent survey results related to your industry
  • Internal employee news, including anniversaries, promotions, and birthdays
  • Listicles (i.e. “10 Best Vacation Spots of 2020” if you work for a Travel publication)
  • A team spotlight with pictures and bios
  • Photos or stories customers have shared
  • Behind-the-scenes at your company, or interviews with company executives
  • Monthly business recap
  • New training opportunities
  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and answers
  • Upcoming webinars, or recordings of past webinars

Next, let’s explore some newsletter designs to inspire the aesthetic of your newsletter.

Featured Guide: Email Newsletter Design Examples Lookbook

email newsletter examples lookbookLearn how to build an email newsletter from scratch, and see dozens of email newsletter examples from real businesses with this free guide.

Email Newsletter Design

While you can get creative with the structure of your email newsletter, the general anatomy typically includes:

  • Your logo or masthead
  • A featured image and other eye-catching visuals
  • Top stories featured at the top
  • Additional content and promotions following
  • An email footer with social links and subscription information

anatomy of an email newsletter designFrom a design standpoint, your company’s newsletter should be a true reflection of your brand. For instance, if your website features minimalist design and clean, plain black-and-white text, then you don’t want to create a super colorful newsletter, which might confuse new subscribers.

There are a few best practices, however, you can employ to ensure your design is up-to-par regardless of your audience’s preferences:

  • Clean, crisp images (no blurry images)
  • Text (use same text throughout), company logo, and icons
  • Try filters, memes, or video
  • Make the CTA clear and obvious — and just have one (i.e. “Click here to shop” or “Click here to read”)
  • Create a hierarchy with CTA early-on
  • Mobile-responsive
  • Test the length of your newsletter to ensure it’s not too short or too long for your audience

Of course, the design of your newsletter will depend on your brand, as well as the message. For instance, you might want to create a colorful, attention-grabbing newsletter if it largely focuses on visuals of new products — alternatively, if it’s a round-up of recent blog posts, perhaps you try a more minimalist look to mimic the appearance of a letter.

Of course, you’ll want to A/B test whichever design(s) you choose, to ensure they resonate with your audience.

I’d also recommend looking into pre-made templates if you’re not familiar with designing emails. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you’ll have a bunch of pre-made templates in the email tool.

However, if you’re still unsure about your newsletter design, there’s nothing better than looking at examples for further inspiration.

Take a look at the following newsletters that knocked it out of the park, and consider using some of their design elements as inspiration for your own.

Each newsletter on this list is fabulous for different reasons. Some have exceptional design, some have exceptional copy, some have exceptional calls-to-action … but all are exceptional at solving for their subscribers’ needs.

1. The Hustle

The Hustle is a daily newsletter that promises “business and tech in 5 minutes or less.”

While there are a ton of business and tech newsletters out there, what makes The Hustle remarkable is its tone at the intersection of informational and hilarious.

Take two of their most notable headlines from 2020 as an example:

  • “The man feeding a remote Alaska town with a Costco card and a ship”
  • “The economics of vending machines”

The Hustle also allows subscribers to customize the content they receive to fit their interests (see the “Snippets” section in the example below).

The formula of great content + unique tone + personalization works well for The Hustle’s audience as they’ve grown to more than 1.5 million subscribers.

Email Newsletter Example: The Hustle

2. NextDraft

NextDraft is a daily email written by a man named Dave Pell, which is a curation of the best web content of the day. As Pell describes it, “Each morning I visit about fifty news sites and from that swirling nightmare of information quicksand, I pluck the top ten most fascinating items of the day, which I deliver with a fast, pithy wit that will make your computer device vibrate with delight.”

You can tell he’s a great writer. His copywriting is one of my favorite things about the newsletter. It starts with the subject line, which is usually a play on words or a clever one-liner on the top news of the day. It then extends to the body of the email itself, which is always descriptive, accurate, and clever. Finally, the minimalist design is fantastic.

Not only is content delivery is clear, organized, and digestible, but also the inclusion of social share buttons underneath each story is brilliant. Rather than assuming that the reader is going to make it to a social sharing option at the bottom of the newsletter, Pell provides them with multiple opportunities throughout. Social engagement can play a big role in growing your newsletter, as every share on social opens up a valuable opportunity to attract more subscribers.

For those who’d rather read news like this in a mobile app, the NextDraft app is free in Apple’s app store.

Email Newsletter Example: NextDraft

[Click here to see the entire email.]

3. REI

REI, the recreational sports outfitter, is a model of success in several areas of content marketing — and their membership email is no exception.

We included this email newsletter on our list because it does what many ecommerce and consumer product vendors find challenging: promote good products with good content. In the newsletter example below, you’ll see how REI delivers many different types of material to its subscribers, and each type relates to one another. Following the seasonal product offerings at the top of the email, the company offers trainings to help educate readers on its new products and blog posts for even more insight into the outdoor lifestyle.

Did you notice something else about this newsletter? It’s dedicated entirely to runners. Catering your email newsletter to a single audience — even if that audience belongs to an even bigger buyer persona — can help you tell a story in your email that resonates with the recipient from start to finish.

rei-email-newsletter-2
Email Newsletter Example: REI

4. Austin Kleon

Not to play favorites, but this newsletter from Austin Kleon is one I really look forward to. First, I love the simplicity. It’s not flashy, nor is it overly promotional. That’s the hallmark of a successful email newsletter: The most effective newsletters aim to educate, not sell.

I also love the overall informal tone he takes, as it makes it feel as though you’re hearing from a friend. If you’re looking to lower the barrier between your company and your audience, consider using language that is friendly and inviting, not buttoned-up and jargony.

Email Newsletter Example: Austin Kleon

[Click here to see the entire email.]

5. FandangoNOW

FandangoNOW is a movie streaming app that allows you to build a library of purchased and rented movies around your interests. And it uses the below email newsletter as part of its customer retention strategy.

The email below offers movie suggestions for the weekend, making it a well-timed newsletter if it lands in your inbox on Friday afternoon. In addition, its design is easy to digest, despite being so graphic-intense. Using numbered icons and consistent “Buy” and “Rent” CTAs in corners of each movie tile, the email compartmentalizes a lot of content while still connecting each movie to the FandangoNOW brand.

Email Newsletter Example: FandangoNOW

6. InVision

InVision’s newsletter is a weekly digest of their best blog content, a roundup of their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt.

Not only is their newsletter a great mix of content, but I also love the nice balance between images and text, making it easy to read and mobile-friendly. They make great use of animated GIFs in their emails. I also love the clever copy on their call-to-action buttons:

  • “Cat GIFs on Every Page”
  • “Set Your Sights”
  • “Why So Serious?”

In addition to classic CTA buttons, they engage their audience at the bottom of every newsletter with a “You tell us!” text CTA.

Email Newsletter Example: InVision

7. Community.is

Community.is is a handcrafted newsletter created for people who “put people at the center of their work.” This unique concept attracts a variety of readers from executives at ad agencies, to community managers at startups, to marketers and creatives of all shapes and sizes.

In an effort to cater to their melting pot of subscribers, Community.is adopted a three-tier format: Short, Mid, and Long. While an executive may only have time to skim the short stuff, a marketer might be looking for a more in-depth read to spark some inspiration for their next campaign. Organizing a newsletter in this way helps ensure that you’re serving the distinct needs of your audience without it being too confusing.

Email Newsletter Example: Community.is

[Click here to see the entire email.]

8. Vox Sentences

Vox Sentences is a nightly email meant to quickly get its readers up to speed on the best stories from the day. The content ranges from the day’s top news to fun stories from all over the web. They do a great job balancing their own content with external sources, and the stories they choose are always really high quality.

You can read Vox’s entire newsletter from start to finish and get a great sense of the stories they’re covering — but you can also click through to any of the linked stories to get a more in-depth approach.

Email Newsletter Example: Vox Sentences

9. Fizzle

Fizzle’s newsletter is aimed at entrepreneurs who want weekly tips on building a business sent directly to their inbox and all in the email itself. Although they have a business blog and a podcast, what makes Fizzle’s newsletter unique is that the email content is independent from those other content assets. In other words, it’s written entirely for their subscribers.

The copywriting style makes the newsletter unique and appealing, too: It’s casual, honest, and written like the author is writing to a friend. The writing gives off the vibe of real, down-to-earth business advice — without the fluffy stuff. At the same time, it’s written with clear headers and sub-headers to break it up, and the important stuff is bolded, making for easy skimming.

Email Newsletter Example: Fizzle

10. TheSkimm

If you want to stay up on what’s happening in the world and have some delightful writing delivered to your inbox first thing in the morning, look no further than TheSkimm. It’s a daily roundup of what’s happened in the news in short, punchy paragraphs.

The best part? You don’t have to click out of the email to read the news if you don’t want to — although they do link to their sources if you want to read further.

For your own email marketing, TheSkimm is the place to go if you’re looking for writing inspiration or for emails without much visual content.

Email Newsletter Example: theSkimm

11. Medium

Medium is a blog-publishing platform that has been continuously building momentum since its launch in 2012. Publishing on the site has really picked up in the past few years, and nowadays, there are a ton of people publishing posts on the site every day.

Of course, that means there’s a lot of content for the average person to filter through. To help bring great content to the surface, Medium uses email newsletters. And after I open this newsletter every day, I end up going to visit several Medium posts without fail. (Mission accomplished for Medium, right?)

Here’s why: The newsletter feels pretty minimal. Because of the way that Medium uses colors and section dividers, they’re able to give you a ton of content in one email without it feeling overwhelming. Plus, they offer both a daily and a weekly version of the digest, allowing users to opt in for the email frequency they feel most comfortable with.

Email Newsletter Example: Medium

12. BrainPickings

BrainPickings is one of the most interesting newsletters out there. In fact, the folks who write it call it an “interestingness digest.” Every Sunday morning, subscribers get the past week’s most unmissable articles about creativity, psychology, art, science, design, and philosophy — topics that are really appealing to a wide audience. At its core, it explores what it means to live a good life.

This is one of the longest newsletters I’ve ever read, but what makes it still work well is how high quality and well packaged the content is.

(Bonus: Check out the delightful microcopy in the top right-hand corner.)

Email Newsletter Example: BrainPickings

[Click here to see the entire email.]

13. Litmus

You’d hope that an email marketing testing company would have great emails … and Litmus definitely does. While the content of the emails is certainly interesting, I’m especially digging the design. The blocks of color help break up the newsletter into sections that are easy to differentiate.

I also like that the text calls-to-action at the end of each post’s description don’t just say something generic, like “Read this post.” Instead, they are matched with specific actions related to the post’s content, like “Get the checklist” and “Discover why you should test.”

Email Newsletter Example: Litmus

14. General Assembly

There are a lot of creative things you can do with images in your emails, from designing your own custom graphics to creating animated GIFs. General Assembly, an organization that helps expand professionals’ skill sets, likes to employ tactics like these in their newsletter.

From their attractive and minimal layout to their concise copy and helpful information, this is a great example of a newsletter that gives subscribers quick information in an easily scannable format.

Email Newsletter Example: General Assembly

15. The Ringer

Remember Grantland, the sports and pop culture blog owned by ESPN that was started by sports journalist Bill Simmons? In October 2015, ESPN announced it would be ending the publication of Grantland. Shortly thereafter, Simmons formed Bill Simmon Media Group and recruited a whole bunch of former Grantland staffers to launch a brand new newsletter in March 2016 called The Ringer.

Although The Ringer is written and run by many former Grantland employees it’s a different project than Grantland was. Where Grantland focused on sports and pop culture, The Ringer branches out into other areas like tech and politics. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, is among the contributors. I like how focused they are on experimentation: “We want to have fun, take chances, analyze, theorize, obsess, and try not to take ourselves too seriously,” said Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey.

Another differentiator? The Ringer’s website was developed in partnership with publishing platform Medium — which means the newsletter reflects that clean, minimal design.

Email Newsletter Example: The Ringer

[Click here to see the entire email.]

16. Hacker Newsletter

Many marketers don’t frequent Hacker News, but they should still check out this hand-picked curation of the social network’s top stories of the day.

Why? The newsletter is clean and minimal, but still sends a ton of really great content its subscribers’ way. The way it distills potentially overwhelming information is by bucketing content into sections. The newsletter also looks very similar to the site, so for those who love the site and how it’s laid out, the newsletter feels like a comforting, familiar way to consume content.

Email Newsletter Example: Hacker Newsletter

[Click here to see the entire email.]

17. Below the Fold

Below the Fold is a weekly newsletter (from Acciyo) that surfaces important and interesting stories that simply aren’t making headlines due to the crowded, never-ending news cycle we all experience day in and day out.

Acciyo’s editorial team handpicks great news stories that they believe deserve “front-page love” but are being beaten out by an “infinite scroll of breaking headlines” — stories that range from how investors are profiting from emergency room bills, to how one Mexican company turned prickly pear into sustainable fuel.

What I love most about Below the Fold is not just that I get to read super interesting stories that would be hard to find on my own, but that the mission behind their newsletter is unique and creates new value for their readers. They’re not just curating content on a single topic; they’re appealing to an audience who’s tired of reading the same headlines across their feeds and want to know what else is happening in the world.

Some of their most engaged sends are weeks where one story dominates coverage, preventing other important stories from reaching people. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s trending and miss what else is happening in the world. They do a great job of communicating a mission that truly differentiates them and creates value readers won’t get anywhere else.

Email Newsletter Example: Below the Fold

18. #SEOFOMO

Things can change quickly in the world of SEO, so fear of missing out (or, affectionately dubbed, FOMO) is a real mood among professionals immersed in the industry.

That’s why Aleyda Solis, an expert in the space, started the newsletter: “#SEOFOMO was born with the goal to share the type of newsletter I wished to receive myself as an SEO consultant.”

The newsletter itself is comprehensive, containing search- and algorithm-related news, curated articles, guides and resources, and open SEO jobs.

Email Newsletter Example: #SEOFOMO

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Creating an Email Newsletter Your Subscribers Love

Even though newsletters are one of the most common types of emails to send, they are actually some of the hardest to do right. We hope these examples gave you some quality inspiration so you can create newsletters your subscribers love to get in their inboxes.

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Using Keywords in YouTube Videos: How to Get More Views

With more than 3 billion monthly searches, YouTube is not just a popular social networking platform, but the second largest search engine on the Internet. Five hundred hours of video footage was uploaded to YouTube every single minute in 2019 — and that figure has likely grown since.

YouTube has 2 billion active monthly users who watch over 1 billion hours of content on the platform every single day. With content coming in at that volume, it gives a more accurate sense of scale to think of any individual video not as a person shouting amidst a crowd, but as a single grain of sand on a beach. It’s not a perfect analogy, because grains of sand on the beach are not individually identifiable, searchable, or able to be organized and catalogued. YouTube videos are.

That doesn’t mean that it’s in a marketer’s best interest to have an “if we build it, they will come” mentality on YouTube. Content creators and marketers who publish video to YouTube sometimes assume that the most interesting content is naturally selected by the algorithm and pushed to the front page, to be rewarded with millions of views by some combination of timing, luck, and merit. But considering the sheer scale of content available on YouTube, it’s a bit more useful for our purposes to think of YouTube as the largest video library archive ever to have existed. The key to getting more views on YouTube videos isn’t to be special enough or loud enough to get noticed in the throng. Rather, the key is to tag your content with lots of detail-rich identifying information, making it searchable in the catalogue for viewers who are already looking for videos like yours.

YouTube is a search engine

Does this sound really similar to the SEO principles that get websites to rank on Google? That’s because it is. YouTube is a search engine for video, which means that videos can be optimized to perform better by making them easier to search for.

This post is a primer on how YouTube tags, catalogues, and recommends videos to their users, and how you can use those features as tools to help you set your video up for success. This assumes, of course, that generating more views on your videos is a part of your strategy. Many people use YouTube as a convenient hosting platform for their videos to embed to their own websites and social feeds, and attracting viewers on YouTube isn’t a priority for them. That’s a perfectly legitimate way to use the platform. We’re going to focus on how to optimize video content that is intended to attract new viewers and broaden your audience, and the technical steps needed to do it.

Plan for the audience you want, then work backwards

To increase the views on your YouTube videos, you need to start by making it easy to find you for those already interested. You can only do that effectively when you know who those people are, and why they would want to see what you post. Starting there, you can work backwards to tag your video as likely to be relevant to them.

The benefit of posting to mega-networks like YouTube is that the audience is already there without you having to build it. But because of the sheer amount of video content offered, waiting for viewers to find your stuff serendipitously is unlikely to get you more than a handful of views and very little return for your investment. For your video content to be worth the cost and effort of producing it, you need to proactively plan your content and posting around the specific people you want to see it and marketing outcomes you want to achieve.

Check out Moz’s resources on audience targeting and content strategy if you’re just getting started on that. With those basic outcomes in mind, you can start working backwards to determine what metrics you’ll need to watch to gauge your success, and how you’ll structure your content to get there.

A refresher on YouTube analytics

YouTube Studio Video Analytics, Overview, from “Relics from a Lost Future (Full Album 2021) [INSTRUMENTAL POST ROCK]” courtesy of Undercover Rabbis.

Before we take a deeper dive into YouTube keywords, it’s important to define the different KPIs that we use to measure the success of videos. In simplest terms, they’re the stats on your video that tell you whether your plan for video marketing is working or not. They include:

Watch time: This KPI measures the total amount of minutes a viewer spends watching your content. Content and channels that have longer watch times are elevated by YouTube in the recommendations and search results. A low average watch time can indicate that your viewers are getting bored or that your video is too long to hold their interest.

Retention rate: This is the percentage of audience members who stay to watch the video all the way through compared to those who leave before it’s over. The YouTube platform favors videos with high retention rates, judging them to be more likely to be relevant and recommending them to more viewers.

YouTube Video Analytics (under Overview) from “Bosses Hang (Godspeed You! Black Emperor Cover)” courtesy of Undercover Rabbis.

Engagement: This refers to the actions that viewers take beyond just watching the video, like taking the time to comment, like, share, subscribe, or bookmark for later. Engagement is often the most important metric for marketers to track, because it tells you how many people are interested enough in your content to take further action. Comments can paint a clear picture of how your content affected viewers. Shares gauge how much viewers value your video and your brand, and are crucial to growing a following. Likes and dislikes can help you evaluate what content did or did not work, and it further indicates to YouTube what content is likely to be high quality when recommending videos in users’ feeds.

Thumbnails: The thumbnail is the picture of your video that appears with the title on a results page or link. It provides a sneak peek of the content you’re sharing to help the viewer decide whether to watch it or not. A thoughtfully crafted thumbnail is easy to make and can have a big impact on how many viewers will ultimately choose to click and watch your video.

Title keywords: The keywords you use in your video title tells YouTube what’s in it, and helps guide viewers to your content when they search for similar words or phrases.

Re-watches: This metric measures the number of times viewers re-watch particular parts of your video. If there is a high re-watch rate, viewers are likely interested and invested in the topics you’re covering, and might want to know more. This can be useful for strategizing and planning future content.

Demographics: These stats account for the different types of viewers who are watching your content, segmented by gender, age, and geography.

It’s important to understand what these YouTube metrics are meant to measure. They all play an important part in your video rankings on both YouTube and Google, so it’s prudent to implement some basic best practices to keep these stats out of the gutter, as we’ll outline below. However, it’s important to keep your focus on the end goals, and not just chase the stats. Good metrics are to be used as indicators of your progress, not the goal in and of itself.

How Google ranks YouTube videos

YouTube views don’t only come from people already logged on to YouTube. Google is also a huge driver to your YouTube videos. Google needs to understand the content of your video in order to include it in search results. Google ranks YouTube content in the following ways:

  • Crawling the video and extracting a preview and thumbnail to show the user

  • Extracting meta tags and page texts from your video descriptions to tell the user more about the video’s content

  • Analyzing the video sitemap or structured data to determine relevance

  • Extracting audio to identify more keywords

Keywords aren’t pulled just from the text attached to your video in the descriptions and tags — they can also be pulled from the audio itself. This is why including the right keywords in your video script will help boost the video’s rankings on Google.

Choosing keywords is about relevance, not volume

This begs the question: what, then, are the “right” keywords? A better question might be: what makes a keyword the right one? Let’s return to the “YouTube is like an enormous library archive” analogy for a moment. If only making noise and getting noticed mattered, then the right keywords would be the ones that get the most search volume to attract the most viewers. But like we said, YouTube is too saturated a platform to count on viral spread. Search engines don’t really think in terms of “best and worst” videos to make their rankings. (Search engines don’t really think at all, but that’s a topic for another day.) Search engines are designed to identify “what video is best for this particular viewer, in this particular instance?” That’s not a question of volume or popularity. That’s a question of relevance.

It is rarely going to be an effective marketing goal to merely seek out lots and lots of viewers regardless of who they are. Most campaigns are better served by a smaller group of highly engaged fans than by millions of lukewarm passive viewers. If you spend all of your focus optimizing your content for Google’s bots, high volume and low engagement is what you’re likely to get. If you want to build a meaningful fan base, then you must build your content for the people watching it, not just the search engines ranking it.

Defining your audience and their needs

You must have a clear idea of who you are trying to address with your YouTube content if you want to know what to say to them. Defining your target audience first will make the SEO optimization process more goal directed and specific.

Identifying and defining your target audience can start with the motivations behind their video searches. Some common motivations include:

YouTube Studio Channel Dashboard courtesy of Undercover Rabbis.

I want to know: The user wants to learn more about a specific topic they’ve already identified. They’re likely to be interested in tutorials, how-to’s, and explainer videos.

I want to do: The viewer has a specific action already in mind that they want to take, like planning a trip or exploring a new hobby. They might watch videos either aspirationally or proactively, like vlogs for inspiration or travel guides for actionable tips.

I want to buy: The potential viewer is seeking information related to a specific product they want to purchase, including reviews or comparisons. They might look for unboxing videos, reviews from influencers, or product demos.

Understanding your audience, their pain points, and their purchase drivers is key to identifying which keywords can help guide those viewers to your YouTube videos. Keywords are the language viewers use to ask a search engine for specific content, which is why we often start with viewer intent and work from there. Jot down a few words or phrases that a viewer might use to describe what they want to see in your video. Think about both the featured topic (like “dogs” or “makeup” or “golf swing”) and format/genre (like “tutorial” or “vlog” or “Let’s Play” or “reacts”). List the relevant verbs, like “buy”, “play”, “learn”, “explain”, “explore”. By building out a word cloud like this, you’ll have a starting point for your keyword research.

Begin your keyword research with an autocomplete tool or competitor browsing

The simplest way to start the keyword research process is by playing around with a keyword tool (Moz offers a free Keyword Explorer,) or the search function right on YouTube and Google. Trying out some different searches that your audience is likely to make can give you insight into what your target audience is already searching for, what they’re interested in, and the specific words or phrases they use when they’re talking about it online.

Type one of your potential keywords into the search box. As you type, YouTube will suggest related popular searches — this is an autocomplete feature built right in. The Ubersuggest tool is also a good place to try this exercise, which will run through the alphabet for the first letter of the next word in your search phrase.

Gauging YouTube keyword search volume

It’s also good to know which of your keywords people search for most frequently. The free Google Trends application “YouTube search” option lets you compare potential keywords in your list to see which ones rank higher and appear in more searches. Keep in mind that higher search volume usually also means more competition to rank for that particular word or phrase.

You can also keep tabs on the keywords your competitors are using to compare to the ones on your list. Find channels within your niche that have a few thousand subscribers, and sort through the content using the “Most Popular” option. Click on the video with the highest number of views and make note of the keywords used in the title, tags, and description. This can show you which keywords might already be saturated in your market with high competition, or reveal gaps where there are opportunities to provide content.

Attaching keywords to your videos

YouTube Channel, Basic Info Keywords courtesy of SustainablePR.

When you’ve identified a list of high-value keywords, it’s time to put them to work. Here are all the places you can incorporate keywords when first posting your YouTube video:

Video file name: SEO optimization begins before you even upload the video. Include keywords prominently in the video file name.

Video title: The title should be punchy and concise. Think about what you would want to click on. Avoid using video titles longer than 70 characters, because they’ll get cut off on the search engine results page and thumbnails. Try to include the keyword towards the beginning of the title when you can.

Description: Many content creators make the mistake of only writing a couple of sentences in their video description. The more words your description has, the better. YouTube allows up to 5,000 characters for video descriptions, so be sure to utilize that real estate. Include strategically placed keywords, information about the video, an enticing hook, and a specific call to action.

Transcript: The video transcript, or caption, is another opportunity to include keywords because it provides additional text used by the platform’s ranking algorithm.

Tags: When tagging your video, include the top relevant keywords, the brand or channel name, and the more specific keyword phrases. Keep all tags under 127 characters. The more the merrier, as long as they are all relevant and concise. No one likes a bait and switch, and too broad a range of topics in your tags will signal to YouTube that your video isn’t strongly relevant to anything in particular at all.

Try audio keywords to get more traction

A unique way to include even more keywords in your video is to speak them in the video itself. Since Google and YouTube no longer need to crawl a transcript to understand what you’re saying, you can utilize audio keywords. Always try to include the keywords in the first two sentences you speak in the video to keep your viewer retention rate up.

Bottom line: prioritize relevance over volume, and start with the viewer and work backwards

If you take nothing else away from this guide, know that a search engine like Google or YouTube has no concept of what “best” means. It cannot judge a video by merit, and it does not rank individual videos as being more or less worthy of views. Only the viewers can make value judgments like that. A search engine can only make determinations of relevance, and only using the keywords we give it, as compared to the keywords provided by the user when they perform a search.

The search engine only knows if it provided the right video for the right search by interpreting the actions the user takes next. If you give YouTube and Google plenty of keywords to parse by completely filling out your description, tags, titles, and transcripts, your video will be returned in more searches. If the viewer then leaves comments or subscribes to your channel after watching, YouTube’s algorithm concludes that your video was highly relevant, and returns you in more searches. It’s a relatively straightforward cause-and-effect relationship, not a mystical process.

Play around with some of the free SEO tools and Learning Center resources that Moz makes available, and see what you turn up. A little bit of effort, forethought, and consistency goes a long, long way when it comes to improving your performance on YouTube.

Reblogged 19 hours ago from feedproxy.google.com

The AIDA Model: A Proven Framework for Converting Strangers Into Customers

In 1898, Elias St. Elmo Lewis, an eventual inductee of the Advertising Hall of Fame, anonymously wrote a column about three advertising principles he found useful throughout his career in a printing magazine called The Inland Printer, one of the most influential American magazines of the 19th century.

In his column, he states that a successful advertisement should always follow a specific formula.

“The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader, so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it; then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement.”

In other words, copy is only good if it attracts attention, generates interest, and creates conviction, in that order.

Over a century later, Lewis’ principles still ring true. They’re expressed as an acronym, AIDA, and widely used in the advertising industry. In the digital age, brands have even based their entire marketing strategy on the AIDA model.

Before we cover how you can apply the AIDA model to your own content marketing strategy, let’s go over what it is and why it works.

Brands use the AIDA model to determine the way they should craft and distribute marketing messages to their target audience at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

The AIDA model is considered a hierarchy of effects model, which means consumers must move through each stage of the model to complete the desired action. Just like a typical marketing funnel, each stage has fewer consumers than the previous one.

AIDA Marketing Model Illustrated With a Funnel

How to Apply the AIDA Model to Your Marketing

By creating campaigns and structuring your website with the AIDA model in mind, you can get more control over your prospects’ paths to a purchasing decision.

In theory, as they progress through each stage of the model, consumers who learn about your brand will develop certain feelings or emotions about your product or service, which is what ultimately compels them to act.

Here’s what you can do to implement AIDA:

Attract Attention

If your content can grab their attention and deeply engage them, your target audience will start to become curious about what your company actually does.

In this stage, the consumer is asking, “What is it?”

In order to get to this stage, you must first get your content in front of them. This comes with increased brand awareness and effective messaging.

Example

Effective content marketing is one method of attracting visitors to your website. If you create content that solves their problems and focuses on their passions, you’ll be able to draw them in and provide a solution. When executed effectively, your target audience should be able to discover your content through Google, social media, and other channels.

Wistia does this well with their content marketing, producing not just educational blog posts that drive traffic but also entertaining or inspiring “shows.” This tactic allows them to not just address the pains their prospects have but also go above and beyond to make solving that problem easier (and, in some cases, entertaining). Leaning into video as a medium instead of just blogging ties into their product and mission, keeping Wistia’s solutions top of mind as prospects consume this content.

AIDA Attracting Attention Example: Wistia's Learning Center With Blogs and Video

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Generate Interest

Once your target audience is interested in your product or service, they’ll want to learn more about your brand, the benefits of your solution, and your potential fit with them.

In this stage, the goal is to get them to think, “I like it.”

In order to get to this stage, your content must be persuasive and engaging. While the first stage of AIDA is capturing their attention, this stage is about holding it. You can do this with a hook.

Example

Let’s say your content marketing was effective in drawing them to the website to learn about a pain, problem, or need they have. You might then “hook” them with engaging storytelling that demonstrates the why behind your solution.

Stories resonate with humans, and it’s a simple way to convey information in a way that stimulates empathy and curiosity.

To generate enough excitement in your prospects to compel them to act, you need to make sure their affinity for your brand hits a certain threshold. The more aligned you are with their needs and values, the more likely you are to achieve success.

Below the Fold is a service that delivers relevant news articles to its users. It generates interest with its hook: “Stories that don’t make it to the front page.” The intrigue in this line opens up a loop (What have I been missing without this service?) while highlighting their value proposition of surfacing stories that aren’t getting coverage but are still important.

Generate Interest Example: Below the Fold's Hook

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Stimulate Desire

People do business with those they know, like, and trust. The first two stages of the AIDA model establish the know and the like.

The goal of this stage is to change “I like it” to “I want it.”

And that’s done by cementing in the final piece of the puzzle: Trust.

To do this, keep serving them content. Make sure they subscribe to your blog, follow you on social media, and download your offers. The more prospects interact with your brand, the more they’ll trust you, boosting the chances they’ll eventually buy your product or service.

Example

The prospects you’re most likely to close are the consumers who envision a future with you — they already enjoy consuming your content and think your product or service will be even better.

For this reason, you must institute a gap between where they are and where they could be with your solution. At the same time, you must establish social proof with case studies and testimonials.

“Before and After” style content is a great example of how to stimulate desire while gaining trust. Check out the headline on this case study by Calendly: “Convert 60% more PPC leads into bookings using Black Propeller’s secret weapon.” This helps a prospect envision a future with this product (What would my life be like if I achieved similar results?). The “before” is them at their current stage, and the “after” is the vision of them with a 60% increase in conversions. Then, if they read the full case study, they get exposed to social proof from a customer just like them.

Stimulate Desire Example: Calendly Case Study

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Spur Into Action

After you generate enough desire for your product or service, give your prospects the chance to act on it. After all, what’s the point of creating content and building deep relationships with prospects if there isn’t a clear next step?

The goal is to get them to decide, “I’m getting it.”

No matter what the “next step” is, you should compel them to respond with low-friction but high-incentive calls to action.

Example

Whether they’re far away or close to a purchasing decision, the next step that you present should be “high-value.” In other words, it must help them in some way.

If they understand what the outcome of your offer is and find it valuable to them, they’ll be more likely to act (since they aren’t simply committing to a sales call or sales content).

Consider exactly how you can provide that value while motivating them to engage with you.

The CTA for this “next step” or offer should be prominent, clear, and uncomplicated. Perhaps it’s a button or banner that spells out what action they must take and what they get if they do. By eliminating friction in the process, you increase your likelihood of success.

Nerdwallet, a personal finance site that provides resources on everything from credit to mortgages, has such a CTA. The idea is that they can engage their audience and compel them to action by offering a comparison tool. They highlight this tool directly on their homepage with a grabby headline and value-driven subheadline along with a high-contrast button. The setup is uncomplicated and friction-free. Nerdwallet is simultaneously able to generate leads while empowering and delighting those leads with high-value information.

Spur Action Example: Nerdwallet CTA

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AIDA Drawbacks

Now that you are familiar with the AIDA framework and how it operates, you should also consider some of its limitations:

1. It doesn’t take into account non-linear buyer’s journeys.

AIDA does a fantastic job of describing a linear thought process for a purchasing decision. However, not all purchasing decisions are linear.

A prospective customer might get their interest peaked but ultimately choose a different solution, only coming back to the original provider if their needs aren’t met.

More commonly, someone might have a desire for a solution before being aware of it and taking action to find it (thus experiencing the Desire and Action before the Attention and Interest).

2. It doesn’t take into account impulse purchases or super short sales cycles.

In addition to a non-linear journey, a prospective customer might cycle through multiple stages of AIDA at the same time — all four for an impulse buy or emergency purchase.

3. It’s only a small piece of a holistic business strategy.

AIDA is also limited to first-time purchases. Some organizations try to align their strategy around marketing funnels like AIDA, but this is a mistake. Funnels have customers as an output when they should be at the center of a growth strategy. After all, it’s easier to retain and/or upsell an existing customer than acquire a new one. In addition, with a little customer delight, you can earn testimonials and referrals, generating more attention, interest, and (therefore) customers.

AIDA doesn’t accommodate for this, which is why other models — like the flywheel — are more appropriate for holistic business strategy.

4. Focusing on one AIDA element per marketing tactic may not be effective.

Even when using a funnel for one particular aspect of your business rather than a holistic strategy, it can still be easy to fall into the trap of segmenting out the four letters of AIDA and applying one letter per each tactic in your marketing strategy. For example, you might think, “This blog post is to get their attention,” and only focus on that. However, a blog post should ideally attract awareness and generate interest… and at least get them to take some kind of action before they leave your site.

In other words, marketing should be able to cycle a prospect through multiple stages of AIDA. An effective ad, for example, might prompt three or four stages of AIDA, spurring a potential buyer to action.

5. It’s almost too simple.

AIDA might also be effective in conceptualizing the buying process in a consumer’s mind when they are faced with an ad or other piece of marketing collateral. However, AIDA may be too simplistic to describe the stages of a buying process, particularly for decisions that are more involved or nuanced. Today’s buyers have more resources at their disposal to research, comparison shop, etc.

Using the AIDA Framework

Despite its drawbacks, the AIDA model is a sturdy framework for guiding your audience through the buyer’s journey and spurring them to act. And if you apply it to your content marketing, you’ll be leveraging a proven formula that can consistently engage, persuade, and convert an audience into customers. However, it starts with knowing your customer journey.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Reblogged 1 day ago from blog.hubspot.com

What is CRM Data Maintenance and How It Affects B2B Marketing

The quality of your CRM data impacts your entire organization, bottom to top.

Your marketing teams rely on quality data to segment contacts, personalize messaging, and create targeted campaigns.

Your sales teams require accurate data to speak to your prospects’ biggest concerns.

Your customer support team needs accurate data for context in conversations with customers. Finance teams need accurate customer data for forecasting. Even your executive team relies on accurate CRM data for strategic decision-making.

Most organizations know this. Yet, bad data costs U.S. companies as much as $3 trillion per year, and up to 60% of organizations do not calculate the true cost of their bad data.

That signals that there is a lot of room for improvement in data maintenance in many companies. Companies of any size would be impacted by that much inaccurate data in their customer database, although they may be unaware of just how painful the impact may be, with many of the day-to-day issues flying under the radar.

That much “bad” data represents a huge problem for your marketing teams in particular. How do you speak to your customers’ biggest concerns if you can’t be sure that you know exactly who they are and what they care about? You need accurate, reliable data to be confident in your assertions.

Today, companies often lean too heavily on manual work to fix data issues, which can be extremely time-consuming and draining for your teams. Relying on your employees to export data, fix it in Excel using complicated formulas, and import it back into your CRM issue-free is a big ask.

Let’s consider how poor data quality impacts your marketing teams, slowing them down and giving them less creative options when launching new campaigns.

Impact of Data Quality On Your Marketing Efforts

While the impact of poor customer data quality is felt throughout your organization, it has an especially volatile impact on your marketing teams.

Everything that a marketing team does — every strategy employed, campaign launched, messaging delivered, & creative produced — is influenced by customer data. Or at least it should be.

That’s what great marketing teams do — understand their customers deeply and speak directly to them in a way that resonates. You can’t do that if you don’t know them, and you can’t be sure that you know them if you can’t rely on your data.

Let’s look at some of the specific ways that data issues and low-quality data can impact your marketing teams.

Segmentation

A big piece of any marketer’s job is segmentation. Or, the practice of analyzing long lists of customers and breaking them down into smaller lists so that you can more reliably speak to each segment’s concerns.

You wouldn’t market your B2B software product in the same way to both CEOs and Marketing Managers, even though both might be targeted buyer personas for your product. They have different needs and concerns. If you try, the language that you use will never fully resonate with both.

So you break things down. You make the list of people that you are speaking to smaller and more manageable. Then, you can use specific language that will resonate with that segment. But if your data isn’t reliable, you can’t effectively segment it down into those smaller groups.

Marketers cannot properly segment contacts with inconsistent data. With inconsistencies, creating even basic campaigns becomes a complicated analysis effort that requires experts on hand that understand all of the nuances. As a result, it prevents marketers from creating effective campaigns and impedes their ability to execute quickly.

Let’s consider an example. Let’s say you’re a B2B software company, and you want to send out an email campaign to CEOs in your HubSpot CRM.

If you aren’t regularly standardizing and formatting your job title field data, you’ll find that CEOs are listed in your database in many different ways:

  • CEO
  • C.E.O.
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Founder/CEO
  • Founder & CEO
  • Owner and CEO
  • Etc.

And there are likely to be many other variations as well.

To run a thorough campaign, you need to bring all of these different job titles together, as they are all effectively the same title. To do this, you’ll need to either run some creative Excel formulas, create complicated search filters to “catch” all the relevant titles, or enlist the help of a developer. Either way, you are still unlikely to catch every single error in the field.

This doesn’t even include typos and other errors in your data, either. Some people might be listed as “CEOn” or have job titles listed that include other data issues. And these standardization and data quality issues can potentially impact your entire database.

For instance, this standardization problem wouldn’t only affect CEOs, but every job title in your database. Or, what if you wanted to segment your CRM contacts by city, country, area code, or years of experience? Data issues are present in every field.

Every data point in your database has a host of potential issues that could impact your ability to segment your contacts and deliver effective campaigns that meet your KPI goals.

Data issues make your segmentation efforts complicated and unreliable. Ultimately your marketing teams will be forced to segment less often and less creatively until the issues are rectified.

Personalization

Data issues will also impact your ability to personalize your messaging as well. And personalized messages are critical for successful campaigns.

80% of consumers are more likely to purchase a brand that provides personalized experiences. 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging.

Your ability to personalize messaging is critical and relies on high-quality, consistent data in your CRM. Have you ever received an email and had your name uncapitalized, or been mistakenly referred to by your last name?

Inherently, you probably know that this is a simple data oversight. They didn’t mean to refer to you by your last name. But it does still impact your feelings about the company in question, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s not intentionally rude, but it’s unprofessional to keep your customer data in disarray.

And it’s not just about {FirstName} or {JobTitle} either, although those are important. True, deep personalization may not reference the data so directly, but use conclusions drawn from that data to guide your messaging.

For example, one common personalization issue that arises out of CRM data problems comes from associations. In HubSpot CRM, your B2B contacts are associated with companies.

If that association was missing and a portion of your contacts were free-floating, that would make it impossible to execute account-based marketing strategies. Additionally, personalizing the message based on account engagement becomes difficult when you are missing data.

Inconsistent associations also contribute to inaccurate lead scores in account-based marketing. Because scores are applied on the account level, based on variables for the independent contacts within the account, missing contacts will impact the account scores. Ultimately, the difference in lead scoring could affect the lifecycle stage of the entire account, slowing its movement through your pipeline and potentially derailing a deal.  

Customer Experience

Issues with segmentation and personalization ultimately impact the experience that customers have during their customer journey. With less specific marketing messaging that is less likely to resonate, their experiences and opinion of your brand will suffer.

92% of marketing professionals see personalization as a “crucial” element of the customer experience. And personalization often relies on your ability to segment customer data effectively to deliver relevant messaging. All of these impacts are interconnected, hurting your entire marketing operation.

Duplicate data, for instance, presents a customer experience issue that can potentially harm your brand reputation. If you don’t regularly merge duplicates, many of your customers will receive your messaging multiple times. This drives up the costs of your campaigns, harms your brand reputation, and makes your reporting less reliable.

Deduplication helps achieve a single customer view, which is when your data on your contacts and accounts can all be reliably found in one system. Having one single ‘record of truth’ means that your marketing teams can effectively segment and personalize communications. A single customer view provides your teams with faith in your data, allowing them to focus their attention on other areas.

The quality of your data impacts customers every step of the way. Without reliable data, each of those touchpoints is cheapened. Less data, or less reliable data, limits what can be used and what your teams know about each contact. Across months and dozens of touchpoints, that adds up.  

The only way for companies to fix these issues is to recognize and embrace data management strategy and regular CRM data maintenance.

What is CRM data maintenance?

CRM data maintenance is the ongoing process of auditing your CRM data, identifying issues, and fixing those issues within your database.

The larger process of maintaining your CRM data can be broken down into numerous focus areas, including:

  • Data Quality
  • Data Cleansing
  • Data Operations
  • Data Deduplication
  • Data Purging
  • Data Monitoring and KPIs

Data Quality

Data quality refers to data that is accessible, consistent, and relevant. Your entire organization is impacted by the quality of your data — from individual campaigns through larger strategic decisions.

Accessible means not only that the data is accurate, but that the right people within your organization can access it when they need it. Siloed data creates bureaucratic redundancies that slow your organization down.

Data consistency largely refers to how consistently data is formatted and standardized in your database. Are your phone numbers formatted uniformly? Are your job titles standardized? Are your contact names appropriately capitalized? Consistency allows you to slice and dice data in interesting ways.

Then there is relevance. It doesn’t matter if you have a million perfectly accurate records in your CRM if none of them are in your target market. The data that you collect must be relevant to be useful.

Data quality is achieved through other data maintenance processes like data cleansing.

Data Cleansing

Data cleansing is the process of fixing or removing incorrect, improperly formatted, duplicate, or incomplete data within your CRM.

  • Fixing first and last name capitalization issues (jane vs. Jane)
  • Standardizing addresses and phone numbers (1234567890 vs 123-456-7890)
  • Standardizing Job titles (CEO vs. C.E.O vs. Chief Executive Officer)
  • Removing redundant data
  • Removing incorrect and fake data
  • Removing special characters
  • Identifying and fixing outlying issues

The process of cleansing data can be time-consuming. Often it involves breaking out chunks of your database and assigning fixes and tasks to members of your team. Then, they will load the data into Excel and use VLOOKUP and complicated formulas to identify and fix errors in your data. Once complete, the data has to be reimported back into your CRM.

It’s a non-exact process. Unless you have a true Excel wizard on your team, you’re likely to miss many issues and still require ongoing help from developers to update data in bulk.

Data Deduplication

All companies deal with duplicate data. Duplicate contact or company records might be created through manual entry, either by your customers into forms or by your team through your backend CRM. Or, they may be created through data imports or integrations with other software.

No matter how duplicate records are created, they can be a thorn in the side of your marketing team.

Duplicate data leads to increased campaign costs and lost productivity. As your teams spend time ironing out data issues instead of focusing on other areas, leading to missed opportunities. Every second they spend sifting through records to identify the “correct” or most complete record is wasted time. Duplicate data shatters your single customer view, as there is no single ‘source of truth’ that can be relied on.

When you have high duplication rates, your marketing teams will always be aware of that fact. They know that they will have to deduplicate any list of prospects or customers before new campaigns go out, adding a new task to every campaign launch.

Most critically, duplicate data harms the customer experience. Not just because they are likely to receive mixed messages and redundant messaging. But because your ability to understand them will be halved throughout the customer lifecycle, leading to less fulfilling interactions over and over again.

Data Operations

Data operations encompasses the ongoing day-to-day tasks that are required to maintain your CRM data and ensure the usability of that data across your organization.

Data operations tasks include day-to-day bulk updating of data, consolidating fields and redundant data, migrating free-text fields to picklists, importing data (from events or third-party sources), and other tasks.

These tasks are a necessity for high-quality data, and for putting your data in a position where data cleansing can be as effective as possible.

Data Purging

Data purging encompasses the removal of garbage data, outdated data, redundant data, and low-quality data that will only serve to clutter up your database and negatively impact your reputation and email open rates.

There are many types of data issues that could potentially make records a good candidate for purging. Examples include:

  • Undelivered emails
  • Clearly fake data
  • Outdated records
  • Unqualified prospects
  • Bad records from integrations
  • Incomplete Contact Data
  • Free and role-based email addresses
  • Unengaged contacts
  • Unqualified contacts
  • Duplicate contacts

Purging this data is critical for improving the usability of your CRM data as a whole. Without having to continually sift through and remove garbage data for campaigns, your productivity will improve.

Without clutter, you’ll be able to keep costs down on data storage and contact-based CRM fees, along with the time that your teams would usually spend dealing with the purged records.

Without low-quality data dragging down your email delivery and open rates, you’ll avoid being penalized and enjoy an improved sender reputation.

Data Monitoring and KPIs

To fix issues in your CRM database, you’ll need to be able to identify where those issues lie. Between the different data issues that you’ll find in your database, understanding what those issues are and what kind of issues there are helps you to prioritize fixing the most impactful problems.

Of course, you could monitor your KPIs and generate reports manually. But that involves running reports or exporting data to Excel and analyzing it. However, some tools can automate diagnostics and collections KPIs.

For example, the CRM Data Grader is a tool that connects directly to HubSpot, analyzes the CRM database, and surfaces specific issues that you need to fix. This ensures you have visibility into the quality of your data and actionable insights for dealing with those issues.  

Having a clear key performance indicator, such as the percentage of clean records in your database, allows you to track your progress and quickly assess the overall health of your customer data.

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Differences Data Maintenance and Standard Cleanup Projects

Standard data cleanup projects are short-term and tactical. You find a fire, you put it out. Data cleanup projects are reactive because they have to be. Sometimes unexpected data issues can grind things to a halt and need to be fixed immediately. Those needs will always be there, but less often with a data maintenance strategy.

Unlike one-off cleanup projects, data maintenance is an ongoing strategy. It requires consistent investment and attention, but with the help of modern data management tools you can automate a majority of your data maintenance tasks, improving operations across your teams.

As your customer data grows, management of that data becomes more complicated. It requires more focus and planning to ensure your data is accessible, consistent, and relevant.

As this happens, companies tend to move through several stages on their way toward true data maintenance optimization:

  1. Undefined and chaotic. No understanding of issues and no processes in place to deal with them.
  2. Visibility. Aware of data-related problems have visibility into the specific problems in their database, with reporting generated automatically regularly.
  3. Standardization. Established data quality standards and alignment among cross-functional teams about data expectations and goals. To execute effectively, standards need to be enforced automatically.
  4. Optimization. Employ automation to proactively cleanse and maintain data, avoid repetitive manual work, streamline data corrections and collaboration, alert about exceptions.

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Data maintenance isn’t something that you do once and then never again. This process is something that you’ll need to do over and over again. You need accurate documentation and processes in place to minimize your time investment.

New data is always flowing into your CRM database, and with that data will come a range of issues and errors that have the potential to slow down nearly every team in your organization. Tools like Insycle help you to audit your existing data, identify common data issues, and fix them on an automated set schedule.

Improving your CRM data maintenance processes enable your marketing teams to produce more marketing qualified leads through improved segmentation, personalization, and nurturing.

Quality data means that you can represent your brand professionally in all communications with customers while improving their experience throughout the customer lifecycle.

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Reblogged 1 day ago from blog.hubspot.com

Google will pass permanent signals with a redirect after a year

If you have a redirect live for a year, you can then remove the redirect and Google will continue to pass the signals from the origin URL to the destination URL.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 day ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

How different generations use social media: A complete guide

Social media usage is on the up and up. Our Sprout Social Index™ 2021: UK & Ireland Edition report found 76% of consumers have used social media more in the past year, and 63% have bought from it. Brands caught on to this upward trend and are engaging social media users to drive awareness, clicks and sales.

Success on social media starts with defining your target audience. Consequently, understanding how different generations use social media is critical to shaping a social strategy that gets results.

In this post, we’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of social media use by generation. We’ll also share some insider tips on how to impress each generation to ensure your social media campaigns are consistent hits.

Before we get started, let’s get familiar with the groups surveyed for the Sprout Social Index™ 2021: UK & Ireland Edition, which we’ll reference throughout. We surveyed 500 British and Irish consumers comprised of:

  • Generation Z (survey respondents ages 18-23)
  • Millennials (survey respondents ages 24-39)
  • Generation X (survey respondents ages 40-55)
  • Baby Boomers (survey respondents ages 56-74)

The score on Generation Z and social media

Born as social media gained worldwide popularity, most of Generation Z (also known as “Gen Z” or “Zoomers”) have never known a life without unlimited access to people or information. As the most tech-reliant group, Gen Z and social media are almost synonymous. This is the generation you’re most likely to find on social media, with 87% spending more time on social channels in the last year.

But despite increasing Gen Z social media usage, these digital natives are the least likely to follow brands on social. Gen Z prefers to build connections with their existing community and people like influencers, whose buying advice they trust over brands. So much so, 79% of Gen Zers say they would purchase after seeing an influencer recommendation.

Gen Z hasn’t adopted the same social media habits or preferences as their predecessors either. When on social media they:

  • Opt for video-centered and gamified platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok.
  • Expect culturally relevant and inclusive content that entertains, educates and inspires while keeping up with pop culture.
  • Observe trends and often share, participate in and consume viral content.

What Gen Z consumers expect from brands on social media

From active brand conversations to personalised shopping experiences, Gen Z shoppers know what they want. They expect brands to remain receptive to their needs and help them make informed purchase decisions.

Gen Z also wants to connect beyond the point of sale, engaging, collaborating with and giving feedback to brands. They also want to feel like empowered individuals when shopping. Consequently, they gravitate towards brands who use their data responsibly to create convenient and immersive customer experiences.

What Gen Z social media usage means for your brand

To get Gen Z’s attention on social media, lead with entertainment and tweak your content to fit different Gen Z sub-segments. Then, give Gen Zers a voice to earn their trust.

Be transparent and authentic. Sprinkle in your offerings where it feels most natural in your campaigns to maintain the light-hearted feel Gen Zers love. Also, investigate Gen Z’s social media preferences to find untapped opportunities for your brand to stand out. For example, TikTok is Gen Z’s stomping ground, yet just 32% of businesses use it.

Here are few more ways you can capture Gen Z’s attention:

  • Invest in video content and challenges fronted by popular Gen Z influencers.
  • Partner with influencers to create content that promotes lifestyles Gen Z wants to attain.
  • Deploy a social listening tool to uncover emerging trends and identify conversation topics related to your brand that can inspire polls or other interactive content.

The full scoop on Millennials and social media

Busy building careers, starting families and entering eldercare years, Millennials outshine the harsh labels attached to them. This misunderstood generation doesn’t miss a beat online. They use social media to:

  • Stay connected with their personal and professional connections.
  • Relax and watch entertaining content.
  • Find and buy products.

Millennials are more receptive to social media marketing than their counterparts. They don’t mind following brands online and are less likely to unfollow. This generation even engages in social commerce when convenient.

Here are some important stats to note on Millennial social media usage:

  • Millennials are the third most active group on social media.
  • Nearly three-quarters (72%) report their social media usage has risen in the past year.
  • Millennials are likely to connect with businesses on Facebook (70%), Instagram (64%) and Twitter (33%).
  • Millennials are the most likely generation to buy after seeing an ad, watching a product video or reading a social media review.

What Millennials expect from brands on social media

From product discovery to job hunting, Millennials use social media to get things done. They seek easy, intuitive experiences from brands, which explains why Millennials cite convenience as the most important and compelling reason for social commerce.

This generation wants to make a difference. They expect brands to use their social platforms to take a stand on important societal issues. For example, clothing retailers have launched recycling initiatives in response to consumers’ desire to reduce their carbon footprint.

We are excited to introduce our new #PrimarkCares women’s leisurewear collection with Recover™ 💙 The collection is…

Posted by Primark on Thursday, May 27, 2021

Millennials also seek engaging experiences with brands online; they want to build relationships, give opinions and co-design future products or services. Knowing this, it’s not surprising Millennials are the only age group that favours social media over email for customer service enquiries and feedback. The vast majority (87%) agree or strongly agree that social media is the fastest way to connect with a business.

What Millennial social media usage means for your brand

To attract Millennials, streamline your customer journey and make each touchpoint painless. Use voice of the customer (VoC) data to uncover wants, needs and frustrations, and develop social media content that addresses them. Here’s how to reach Millennials and impress them:

  • Develop a social-first customer service strategy using multiple social channels.
  • Set up multiple social channels and stores.
  • Amplify content that informs their buying decisions, whether that’s educational videos showcasing your product or service, or other customers’ reviews.

It’s also important your brand identifies the social problem(s) it wants to help resolve and publicly supports it. For example, you could:

  • Adjust your offerings to reflect your values.
  • Host discussions with experts.
  • Work with influencers that match your brand values.

For inspiration, look to brands like Fenty Beauty and MDMflow. They’ve paved the way for inclusive beauty with expansive makeup lines and diverse model and influencer collaborations.

Winning over Millennials may be challenging, but doing so can yield the best results—99% say they would refer a business to their network if they feel connected to them on social media.

The facts on Gen X and social media

Gen X didn’t spend their childhood glued to social media. But as the second most prominent generation on social media, they’ve made up for any lost time. Gen X social media has increased, with 76% reporting they used social media more this past year.

As avid researchers, savers and independence-seekers, Gen X enjoys being online, racking up nearly two hours on social media daily. They use it to search for company information, aid their buying decisions and connect with family and friends. Facebook is Gen X’s first choice platform, followed by WhatsApp and Instagram.

What Gen X expects from brands on social media

With some of the highest volumes of disposable income in the UK, Gen X knows their value as consumers and expects brands to acknowledge it. They pay close attention to brands’ customer experiences and go where they are appreciated.

Consider that:

  • Gen Xers value responsive customer service. More than one-third (34%) report feeling connected to a business on social when that business understands them as a consumer.
  • Almost all Gen Xers (95%) expect a reply to complaints or feedback they share on social media.
  • Nearly half of Gen Xers consider brands to be market leaders on social when they have a reputation for putting customers first.

Gen X doesn’t like being bombarded with ads. They prefer to research alone and build connections with brands via social media and email organically.

What Gen X social media usage means for your brand

To stand out to a Gen X audience, communicate that you see and want to know them. Here are a few ways to make it happen:

  • Be visible: Post often on social media to build your brand’s authority and reputation.
  • Help Gen X research your offerings: Provide useful product information on your social channels and show how users can get the most out of their purchases.
  • Appeal to their saving nature: Offer enticing, personalised discounts and promotions.
  • Build trust: Share your brand’s values and promote first-hand customer reviews on social media to make Gen Xers feel confident shopping with you.
  • Provide multiple feedback channels: Gen X is least likely to resolve a customer service issue via phone. Having unified, consistent email and social media customer care options is key.

It’ll take some time to yield results, but Gen X is worth the wait. They’re the most loyal generation and spend more (96%) with a business when they feel connected to them on social media.

The lowdown on Baby Boomers and social media

Coming from an era of Polaroid cameras, typewriters, and receiver phones, Baby Boomers were well into their adult years when social media took hold. Consequently, they prefer to stick to basics like finding information, researching brands, and interacting with others on social media. But that’s not to say Baby Boomers aren’t online. They’ve taken technological changes in stride:

  • Baby Boomers use Facebook the most: 92% of those surveyed have an account.
  • Out of the Baby Boomers we surveyed, 63% report using WhatsApp and 57% use YouTube.
  • Two-thirds of Baby Boomers report increased social media use in the past year.

Also, Baby Boomers are budget conscious and use social media to look out for discounts and promotions. They like to feel in control of their purchase decisions by conducting thorough research.

What Baby Boomers expect from brands on social media

Baby Boomers want to be heard by brands. For example, 53% expect businesses to inform them when they’ve passed their feedback from social media to the appropriate teams.

Transparency and good customer service are also vital to this age group, with 64% saying timely customer service would make them choose one business over another.

This generation expects brands to keep them informed and provide opportunities for them to express their thoughts on a brand. For example:

  • Baby Boomers’ primary motivations for liking or following companies on social are to learn about new products/services (69%) and stay up to date on company news (51%), explaining their disdain for irrelevant content.
  • Most Baby Boomers (87%) are likely to buy from a brand when someone they trust recommends a product/service.
  • More than two in 10 Baby Boomers reach out to businesses on social when they have feedback, second only to email.

What Baby Boomer social media usage means for your brand

Baby Boomers are the generation you’ll work hardest to keep. Not only are they least likely to shop with you after a bad experience, but they also cited the most reasons for unfollowing a business. The top answers included:

  • Poor customer service
  • Bad quality products
  • Excessive ads

To win over Baby Boomers, provide a phenomenal customer experience and make their education your priority. Here are some more ways you can get into their good books:

  • Blend new school and traditional marketing channels: For example, post Facebook video content and follow up with newspaper campaigns to meet Baby Boomers where they are.
  • Spell out the benefits of shopping with you: Offer clear and honest descriptions of your products’ tangible benefits to aid their decision-making.
  • Maintain a strong reviews strategy on social: To get Baby Boomers’ attention, display user generated content and positive reviews to build your brand’s social proof.
  • Keep the promos coming: Give Baby Boomers an incentive to stick around by offering interesting and relevant deals they can share.

Many brands don’t put older adults and social media together, sidelining a critical part of their audience in the process. As more Baby Boomers get comfortable with social media, brands that invest in building these consumers’ trust will reap long-term dividends..

The keys to mastering generational marketing on social media

Generational marketing holds the key to turning curious visitors into raving fans. To triumph, you must understand how different generations use social media and tailor strategies to appeal to each age group.

There’s never been a better time to kickstart generational marketing.
Brands that are attentive to the specific wants and needs of different consumers can win around each demographic, uncover profitable audiences and unlock new levels of growth. Get your research hat on and take your first steps towards building optimised social media campaigns you can count on. Your future brand will thank you for it.

Ready to take your social media strategy to new heights? Learn more about how British and Irish consumers’ use of social media is evolving and how marketers can keep pace by downloading the Sprout Social Index™ 2021: UK & Ireland Edition report.

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