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Let’s give ‘em something to FLoC about; Monday’s daily brief

Plus, 61% will click “Don’t Allow” on Apple’s tracking prompt

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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How targeted advertising is impacted under Virginia’s CDPA

The legislation will give Virginia consumers certain data privacy rights, but there are some curious exceptions

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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2021 YouTube Demographics [New Data]

Chances are, you’ve probably spent an afternoon falling down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos.

I certainly have, and I think I’d be pretty embarrassed to see the total amount of time I’ve spent on the platform.

While it’s a great source of entertainment, YouTube has also proved itself to be a valuable tool for marketers. In fact, 70% of viewers bought from a brand after seeing content on YouTube. And, with a global user base of more than 2 billion people, it’s also safe to assume that your target audience is on the platform.

However, just as it is for all social networks, building a presence on YouTube requires understanding which segments of your audience are already there. Having that information makes it easier to create content that speaks to their interests, maximize ROI, and achieve general marketing success. In this post, we’ll go over key YouTube statistics you need to know for 2021 to help you succeed in your marketing efforts.

2021 YouTube Demographics

Below, we’ll go over the most critical YouTube statistics that show marketers how global audiences are using the platform.

General YouTube User Demographics

  • YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. (Hootsuite)
  • YouTube accounts for more than 25% of total worldwide mobile traffic. (Sandvine)
  • YouTube has 2+ billion users, making up almost one-third of the entire internet. (YouTube for Press)
  • These 2+ billion users are present in over 100 countries and consume content in 80 different languages. (YouTube for Press)
  • YouTube users watch one billion hours of content daily. (Hootsuite)
  • YouTube is the second most popular channel for businesses sharing video content. (Buffer)
  • 70% of viewers bought from a brand after seeing content on YouTube. (Google Ads)
  • YouTube will make 5.6 billion in advertising revenue in 2021 in the U.S. (eMarketer)
  • YouTube is the top video streaming app, and the average user spends 23.2 hours per month watching content. (App Annie)
  • The most popular YouTube search query is “song.” (Hootsuite)
  • The most popular YouTube video is Pinkfong’s Kids Songs & Stories Baby Shark Dance, with 7.85 billion views. (Statista)
  • The three most popular videos on YouTube are commentary videos (like vlogs), product reviews (like unboxings), and how-to/tutorial style videos. (MediaKix)
  • Global users watched over 100 billion hours of gaming content in 2020. (YouTube)
  • YouTube TV ended Q3 2020 with 3 million subscribers. (Alphabet)
  • 70% of people used YouTube to exercise in 2020. (YouTube)
  • Livestreams on YouTube grew 45% in the first half of 2020. (YouTube)

YouTube Age Demographics

  • In Q3 2020, 77% of 15-to-25-year-olds and 70% of 45-to-64-year-olds in the U.S. used YouTube. (Statista)
  • 21.2% of YouTube’s global audience is between 25 and 34, and 17% is between 35 and 44. (Hootsuite)
  • 80% of U.S. parents with a child age 11 or younger say their child watches videos on YouTube, and 53% of those children use the platform daily. (Pew Research Center)
  • Outside of China, 77% of Gen Z, 75% of millennials, 61% of Gen X, and 44% of Baby Boomers visit YouTube daily. (GlobalWebIndex)
  • 18-to-34-year-olds use YouTube to view video content on their TVs 7.9% more often than basic cable and 14.5% than premium cable. (Variety)
  • 46% of Gen Z and Millennials in the U.S. and UK say they’ve watched a virtual event on YouTube. (GlobalWebIndex)

YouTube Gender Demographics

Please note that audience data for individuals who do not identify as cisgender men and women is not reported.

  • 45.8% of YouTube’s total advertising audience is female. (Hootsuite)
  • 54.2% of YouTube’s total advertising audience is male. (Hootsuite)
  • Male and female internet users in the United States use YouTube at equal levels. (Statista)

YouTube Geography Demographics

  • As of February 2021, 16.6% of YouTube site visits come from the United States, 9.4% comes from India, and 4.9% comes from Japan. (Alexa)
  • YouTube has launched local versions of the platform in more than 100 countries. (YouTube for Press)
  • eMarketer predicts that the number of YouTube users in India will reach 342 million in 2021. (eMarketer)
  • 86% of U.S. viewers say they often use YouTube to learn new things. (Think With Google)

Let Data Drive Your YouTube Strategy

Use these statistics to create a YouTube marketing strategy that speaks to your audience’s interests, drives revenue, and increases conversions.

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Do Consumers Actually Shop Directly on Social Media Platforms [New Data]

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many consumers raced online to buy products they couldn’t get in-store. And, by July 2020, global retail ecommerce sites cumulatively saw a record 22 billion monthly visits.

As brands scrambled to offer more products and services online, social media platforms — such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp –began rolling out ecommerce tools to help businesses sell more items directly from their social pages.

Now, as social media networks continue to expand on in-platform shopping tools, it’s clear that social media ecommerce is gaining steam. But, as with any new marketing trend, you might wonder, “Are consumers actually buying products while surfing social media?”

The question above is worth asking. As a marketer, creating an online catalog or ecommerce process — even with the help of an intuitive social media platform — takes time and effort.

Not only will you need to determine which products will be sold online and how you’ll deliver them to customers, but there might also be a technological learning curve for your team. Odds are, you’ll want to know that consumers are actively using social media shopping tools before you enable them

To help you determine if social media shopping features are worth considering, I asked 467 consumers if they’d ever purchased products on social media platforms.

Do Consumers Actually Buy Products on Social Media?

There are now more ways than ever to buy products on social media. But, since some social media shopping tools are still rather new to shoppers and brands, you might think consumers have barely used them yet.

But, when we asked, “Have you ever purchased a product directly from a social media platform? If so which one(s)?” more than 50% of consumers had purchased a product on at least one platform.

Do consumers shop on social media poll

Data Source

Of the 49.5% of respondents that haven’t purchased a product directly from a social media platform, 9% said they still plan to do so eventually, while 40.5% say they prefer to buy products from ecommerce websites. Although that 9% of consumers who plan to shop on social media one day seems like a small number, it could grow as social media shopping tools gain more use, popularity, or trust in the coming months.

Ultimately, while social media shopping features are still fairly new to consumers, they might make sense for brands that are looking for a scalable way to enter the ecommerce world.

Below I’ll dive into the four social media platforms consumers say they’ve purchased products from and how they could be useful for brands.

Which social media platforms are consumers really shopping on?


More than one-third of the survey respondents above have purchased a product directly from Facebook.

Facebook’s online shopping popularity isn’t surprising. Even before the 2020 launch of Facebook Shops, users flocked to Facebook Marketplace to find items or products being sold by residents nearby, independent sellers, or even local stores.

While Facebook Marketplace is more like Craigslist than an ecommerce store — and still requires you to contact a seller or go to their website before buying a product, its years of success likely helped justify the launch of Facebook’s newest shopping features.

Here’s a brief rundown of the newest ways people shop on Facebook:

Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops, which rolled out this summer, enables business page admins to create a “Shop” featuring a list of products or product collections.

Users who visit the brand’s Facebook Business Page can tap or click a View Shop button to see products, add items to their cart, and purchase them directly from a Facebook Checkout page.

Facebook Shop examples

Facebook Messenger

Social media users who aren’t interested in sifting through a Shop’s list of products can also message brands on Facebook Messenger. Once a brand creates a Facebook Shop, they can integrate it with their Messenger account, WhatsApp account, or Instagram account for a smooth customer purchasing experience directly in their threads.

When customers message brands with Shop integrations to learn more about specific products, they’ll receive automated messages with product suggestions from the Shop owner — as seen in the image below.

Facebook Messenger Shopping Features

Image Source

The Facebook Shops’ Messenger integration isn’t the first feature Facebook has offered that enabled consumers to shop via message thread. Between 2016 and 2019, Facebook allowed business pages to send messages that included a product shot, basic description, and a Buy Now button which allowed customers to buy products in the Messenger app via their phone’s payment feature. Here’s what this looked like:

Facebook IM purchasing

Image Source

Takeaways for Marketers

Currently, launching a Facebook Shop might be one of the best ways to sell products on social platforms. Not only does Facebook have the largest and broadest reach of all the platforms on this list, but Facebook Shops can also integrate with Instagram and WhatsApp, allowing you to easily expand to multiple social media platforms when you’re ready.

Even if you already have an ecommerce site, Facebook Shops can still be beneficial if you have large audiences on social media who primarily use mobile phones and apps to surf the web. For example, if a new prospect comes across your brand on the Facebook app, they can simply click into your Shop, check out a few products, and even buy a few using their phone’s payment tool. This might create much less friction than they’d receive if they needed to leave their social media app to browse through a large list of products shown in your ecommerce store.

Ultimately, Shops’ versatile options could be a good fit if you sell to a broad audience, are interested in expanding to Instagram or WhatsApp, or are an experienced online seller who also wants to turn social media followers into customers.


Although most of Instagram’s shopping features were added after Facebook Shops launched, nearly a quarter of respondents have bought products on Instagram.

Below are Instagram’s most notable shopping features:

Instagram Shops

Instagram Shops essentially uses the same design, layout, and technology Facebook Shops, but is linked to Instagram Business Pages specifically. Like Facebook Shops, you’ll also need admin access to a Facebook Business Page and a Facebook Shop to use this feature.

To leverage this feature, you merely need to go to your Facebook Commerce Manager settings, link your Facebook and Instagram Business pages to each other, and enable your Shop on your Instagram Business profile so your visitors will see a View Shop button. Once this Shop is activated, your Instagram Shop’s viewers will see the same mini-online store they’d see if they entered your Facebook Shop on that platform.

Instagram Shoppable Posts

While you’ll still need a Facebook catalog that lists your products, you do not need a Facebook Shop to launch Instagram Shoppable posts. This feature allows you to link your Instagram feed posts and images directly to the product’s Instagram Checkout page.

Instagram shopping post and store

Image Source

While this feature began specifically with feed-style posts, it has now stretched to Instagram Stories, Instagram Live (shown below), and — most recently — Instagram Reels.

Instagram live shopping content

Image Source

While an Instagram Shop allows your followers to see all the major products or collections your selling, Instagram Shoppable posts allow you to highlight your product with creative content, such as reviews or demos, while also linking directly to a purchasing page. This enables users to discover a product, watch it in action, and buy it almost immediately if they like what they’ve seen.

Instagram’s Shopping Tab

You can also optimize your Instagram product content to show up in the Shopping tab of Instagram’s app. With this tool, prospects that might not know about your brand might search for products, find items from your brand, and add them to their bag. From there, they can tap the bag icon in the corner and purchase these products directly from the Instagram app.

Instagram Shopping tab

Takeaways for Marketers

Instagram’s shopping features might be useful to your brand if you already have a presence on Instagram, target the Gen Z or millennial audiences, and have engaging or intriguing photo or video assets to market your product, brand, or service.

If you already have a Facebook Shop and want to expand your social media ecommerce strategy to Instagram, it’s also scalable and easy. Because Instagram Shops are carbon copies of pre-created Facebook shops, you only need to take a few steps to place a Shops button on your Instagram Business Page. But, if you don’t have interest in a Facebook account, you can still leverage Instagram Live Shopping, Shopping Posts, and highlight your products in the Instagram Shopping tab.

To learn more about each of these tools, how they work, and how brands can leverage them, check out this post for more details.


While WhatsApp, also owned by Facebook, doesn’t have its own shopping platform, users can still chat with brands, request to purchase a product from the companies WhatsApp for Business catalog, and pay for it directly in the message thread.  

The WhatsApp payment feature, shown below, is quite similar to Facebook Messenger’s older “Buy Now” feature, shown in the section above:

WhatsApp payments in whatsapp message threads

Image Source

Takeaways for Marketers

While buying products might take a bit longer on WhatsApp than on a Facebook or Instagram Shop, roughly 13.5% of respondents have still done it.

As WhatsApp continues to grow and expand its business features, this app might be worth keeping on your radar if you are interested in building a chat-based community and social revenue stream at the same time.

While this app might be opportunistic for conversational marketers, this app might also be beneficial if you’re looking to sell internationally. While Facebook and Instagram also have audiences around the world, most of WhatsApp’s user base lives outside of the U.S. In fact, WhatsApp’s largest audiences are from India and Brazil.


Until recently — Pinterest users could buy some of the products they saw directly in the Pinterest app. Interestingly enough, it launched and discontinued its tool before Facebook and Instagram launched similar features.

From 2015 to 2018, Pinterest enabled brands to create Buyable Pins that allowed you to purchased pinned products directly from the app. Next to each Buyable Pin’s “Save” button was a blue “Buy It” button. When tapped, it sent users directly to a Pinterest purchasing screen.

Pinterest's old shopping feature

mage Source

While Pinterest offered its in-app purchasing feature for years, the brand converted Buyable Pins to more scalable Product Pins in 2018.

Product Pins, which the platform now uses, send app users to a company’s website checkout page rather than a Pinterest app page.

While the conversion to Product Pins prevented Pinterest from needing to manage millions of transactions a year, it was also more beneficial to the brands. In a 2018 statement to AdWeek, Pinterest revealed that Product Pins received 40% more clicks than Buyable Pins.

Although Buyable Pins are no longer active, 10.5% of respondents still say they’ve purchased products directly on the platform.

While respondents could have purchased items from Buyable Pins in the past, they also could have made purchases through Product Pins, which open an in-app browser to a brand’s checkout page without requiring users to leave Pinterest. Although the transaction itself isn’t happening on Pinterest’s servers, the feature still enables users to make a quick purchase without interrupting their social media experience.

Takeaways for Marketers

Although Pinterest no longer enables consumers to make purchases directly from the platform, you should still take its product marketing opportunities, such as Product Pins, seriously.

After all, many different audiences use Pinterest to create inspiration boards filled with products or items they might want to purchase. And Pinterest data shows that users like to search or learn about products on the platform

Aside from the brand-friendly nature of Pinterest’s platform, marketers should also take note of its consistent growth. By Q3 of 2020, Pinterest surpassed 442 million monthly active users, up from 322 million in Q3 of 2019. Even if it doesn’t seem like Pinterest is the right platform for your brand now, it might be useful to your strategy later as its audience continues to grow, evolve, and use the platform to look for products or inspiration.

Which Social Platforms Should You Sell On?

While many of the respondents above still haven’t purchased a product through a social media platform, this might change as shoppers continue to embrace online shopping.

Additionally, as more brands leverage social shopping tools in place of ecommerce stores, shoppers might become accustomed to using social media shopping options.

If and when you do decide to launch a social media shopping feature for your brand, you’ll want to look at your audience when determining the right place to start.

For example, if your audience is made up of many different age groups, Facebook might be the best place to set up shop. Meanwhile, if your audience is primarily Gen Z, you might want to embrace Instagram’s tools.

Additionally, you should prioritize social media shopping tactics on platforms you’ve already built a following on. For example, if you have a large, engaged WhatsApp audience, selling products there might be a scalable expansion to an already-strong social media strategy.

Ultimately, the best strategy will be to determine where your audiences are most likely going to shop or surf social media and then meet them where they are with your product listings or online shop

To learn more about where your target social media audience might be, check out this helpful post on social media demographics.

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23 Pinterest stats and facts marketers must know in 2021

If you want to expand your social marketing efforts, it’s important to understand the demographics of each platform. That’s why we’ve compiled 23 Pinterest stats and facts that all marketers need to know in 2021. From demographics and user habits to advertising, these statistics should help with your Pinterest marketing.

Let’s dive in.

1. Pinterest has over 450 million monthly active users

Having seen some serious growth, Pinterest has generated an additional 100 million users over the last year. Pinterest started 2020 with around 320 million monthly active users. And now their user base has now increased to 459 million monthly active users.

This means Pinterest now has more monthly active users than both Twitter and Snapchat combined.

2. 85% of Pinners use the mobile app

This should come as no surprise given the fact that around half of all web traffic is on mobile devices. But around 85% of Pinners are actively saving pins from the smartphone app.

So what does this mean for brands and marketers who have a presence on Pinterest? You need to optimize your Pinterest graphics for mobile. Big, bold text and bright colors should be a staple in your designs.

3. Half of users live outside the U.S.

Around 50% of Pinterest users live outside of the U.S., meaning you have a chance of reaching a wider, international audience on this platform. Whether you’re a U.S.-based brand or not, there is a large audience that is actively using Pinterest to save content, products and ideas.

4. 240 billion Pins have been saved by users

Over the 11 years that Pinterest has been in business, over 240 billion Pins have been saved by users. That’s an average of 533 Pins per user.

5. 60% of Pinterest users are women

While 60% of Pinterest users are women, don’t discount this platform if your target audience is men. In fact, male users are up 50% year-over-year, and many are heavily active users.

6. Pinterest is growing in younger generations

Pinterest demographics are up 50% year-over-year for Gen Z and 35% year-over-year for Millennials. This proves brands trying to attract younger audiences still have a platform here.

To further cement this, statistics show that the number of Pinterest users under age 25 grew twice as fast in Q2 2020 than those ages 25 and older. Pinterest is growing across the board and not only in select demographics.

7. U.S. Millennials love Pinterest

Nearly 80% of U.S. Millennial women are on Pinterest and 40% of Millennial men, proving their loyalty to the platform. While Pinterest’s user base has generated 35% more Millennial users year-over-year, it’s important to further break down those demographics.

With 4 out of 5 Millennial women and 2 out of 5 Millennial men actively taking advantage of this platform, any brand trying to market to Millennials should be on Pinterest.

8. 80% of U.S. moms are on Pinterest

Trying to sell to moms? You should probably have a Pinterest business account.

4 in 5 U.S. moms have an active presence on Pinterest and are looking for new products and ideas. Shopping on Pinterest has experienced a growth in 2020, as you’ll read further, so it’s imperative to set your social shopping strategy.

9. 35% more Pinterest boards were created last year

There’s been a 35% increase year-over-year in the number of boards created each month, proving that saving and sharing Pins isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, more and more users are branching out in the types of Pins they save, amplifying the need for more boards.

The same source above shows that there has been a44% increase in beauty boards, a 95% increase in women’s fashion boards and a 36% increase in home decor boards.

10. 50% of U.S. Pinners frequently shop on Pinterest

Not only is Pinterest an online space for users to find new products, ideas and inspiration, but half of U.S. users are also using Pinterest to shop. Because shoppable Pins are so accessible for businesses and Pinterest offers an entire search engine just for finding products, Pinterest can be a goldmine for making sales on social media.

11. The number of users shopping on Pinterest grew 50% in the first half of 2020

Given the extended lockdowns and pandemic precautions, it’s no surprise that people turned to online shopping.

Shoppers on Pinterest grew 50% in the first half of 2020 alone. Because it’s a platform for sharing ideas and inspiration, it’s no surprise that Pins further inspired online shopping.

12. 89% of users are on Pinterest for purchase inspiration

Another big Pinterest stat that showcases the platform’s importance for your social shopping strategy – nearly 9 in 10 users are on Pinterest to plan purchases and find inspiration for what could fit well in their homes, offices or make great gifts for friends and family.

13. More than 25% of time spent on Pinterest is spent shopping

About a quarter of each user’s time spent on the platform is spent actively shopping or searching for products. This means promoted Pins and Pinterest SEO are two areas you need to focus on when creating shoppable Pins.

14. 85% of users have bought something based on Pins they see from brands

If you can get your products in front of Pinterest users, there’s a chance someone in your target audience will make a purchase. This is because a whopping 85% of users have made a purchase based on seeing a branded pin.

15. Pinners spend 80% more in retail than non-pinners

Another incredible metric is that users on this platform spend 80% more in retail than consumers who don’t use Pinterest.

If you pay attention to Pinterest demographics, you see that 49% of U.S. users’ income is more than $100,000 a year. The higher income means the ability to spend more on products on the platform.

16. 2 out of 3 users say they go to Pinterest to find new ideas, products or services they can trust

About 66% of Pinterest users are actively searching for products and services to buy based on what others are saving. Be sure to create beautiful and compelling Pins to maximize conversion potential.

17. 98% of users have tried something they’ve seen on Pinterest

Pinterest has always been known for DIY projects, recipes, beautiful home and fashion pictures, and handmade crafts. And for years, users have enjoyed attempting the different ideas found on the platform.

This is why Pinterest eventually added a “Tried It” button to Pins, so that users can share when they’ve successfully tried a project. This is also how the platform is now able to measure this metric and determine that 98% of users – almost their entire user base – has tried something they’ve seen on the social network.

18. 97% of searches on Pinterest aren’t brand related

Nearly all searches on Pinterest are not brand related, meaning users aren’t including specific brand names in their search queries.

This means you need to pay extra attention and use the right keywords in your pin titles and descriptions so your brand appears in searches.

19. Search trends include “cottagecore fashion,” “kitchen storage solutions,” and “fun couple activities”

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what’s trending on Pinterest, as well as what their annual trend predictions are. Recently, we’ve seen trends along the lines of “cottagecore fashion,” “kitchen storage solutions,” and “fun couple activities.”

Understanding what is trending can help you plan out your marketing strategies and launch new product offerings.

20. Pinterest generated nearly $1.4 billion in advertising in 2020

Pinterest proved its profitability from ads this last year. Raking in nearly $1.4 billion from brands advertising on its platform in 2020, it’s safe to say the popularity of promoted Pins isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

21. Users are 3x more likely to click over to a brand’s website on Pinterest than any other social media platform

If your goal is to drive traffic and conversions to your website, Pinterest is a solid choice for advertising. This is because Pinners are 3x more likely to click through to learn more about a product or service than they are on any other social media platform.

22. Pinterest ads are 2.3x cheaper per conversion than other social media ads

As if you needed any more convincing on why you should add Pinterest to your online advertising strategy. Not only are users more likely to click through to your website, Pinterest ads cost 2.3x less per conversion when they do.

23. 91% of people say that Pinterest is a place of positivity

Ninety-one percent of people believe Pinterest is a positive space. And 60% of U.S. adults are more likely to purchase from brands they discover in more positive areas.

Moral of the story? 3 out of 5 U.S. adults will be more likely to buy from your business just because they see you on a positive platform like Pinterest.

Start investing in your Pinterest strategy

Ready to start ramping up your Pinterest strategy? Learn all about how to create the best Pinterest content, then start saving. Brand your business profile and keep up an active presence. Pay attention to Pinterest SEO, invest in promoted Pins and watch the traffic and conversions roll in.

This post 23 Pinterest stats and facts marketers must know in 2021 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

Master Email Personalization with these 5 Best Practices

master email personalization with these 5 best practices

Don’t you love getting emails that make you feel like the sender gets you?

Targeting subscribers and sending them personalized, hyper-relevant emails is a great way to better connect with the people on your email list.

It allows you to deliver the right message to people who want and need it most. And the more you can do that, the more likely you are to expand your reach and nurture your audience until they become customers. Not to mention loyal advocates of your brand.

But how can you optimize your emails so you’re making the most out of the opportunity to engage subscribers?

Let’s take a closer look at best practices for personalizing your emails to the right people on your email list.

But first, what’s the benefit of email personalization?

By personalizing your emails so they solve your subscribers’ unique problems, you provide immediate value. And the sooner you can do that, the sooner your subscribers will understand what you bring to the table.

Plus, not only do personalized messages lead to more opens, clicks, sales, and engagements, not personalizing messages can have negative impacts, too.

The numbers speak volumes:

More than a name: A better way to personalize your emails

Personalization in email marketing is so much more than including a first name in a subject line or salutation. In fact, name-specific personalization can rub a subscriber the wrong way—if the rest of the email doesn’t feel tailored to them.

A truly personal email addresses the subscriber’s needs, desires, fears, preferences and other aspects of their personality.

Truly personal emails look at things like:

  • Which emails someone has opened and clicked through from in the past
  • Where on your site they visit
  • How they originally found you and what inspired him/her to sign up to your list
  • Products or services they’ve purchased in the past

Or, send personalized emails based on location, demographics, and other criteria that you collect from your subscribers. 

But how do you collect the data that you need to send personalized emails? Read on for the five best practices that will teach you how.  

5 Email personalization best practices

1. Identify your goals.

If you haven’t written down what you hope to achieve by personalizing your emails, now’s the time to do so.

Whenever you think about ways to optimize your emails, it’s important to understand why you’re optimizing them. You don’t want to throw in a subscriber’s first name simply because someone else did it and you thought it was fun. Make sure it helps you achieve your goal, whether that’s to boost your engagement rates like email opens.

As you think about how you want to improve your communication with subscribers, some questions you might ask yourself include:

  • Do you want to embrace a more conversational tone?
  • Do you want to include specific details of subscriber information?
  • Or, do you want to send more relevant content based on your subscribers’ needs and interests?

For each scenario, consider how you might be able to achieve the goal you’re looking for through personalization. 

If you want to embrace a more conversational tone, for example, addressing a subscriber by her first name can be a subtle way to achieve that. Adding a first name personalization field might also help your email stand out in the inbox and catch your subscriber’s attention.

Or, if you want to send the right message to the right group of people who would find it most relevant, you may want to segment subscribers to deliver targeted content.

By having an idea of what problem you want to solve, you’ll be able to identify the best way to segment subscribers and deliver more personalized emails.

2. Collect the data you need to personalize.

Once you have an idea of how you want to send targeted emails, make sure you’re collecting the right information so you can make it happen.

If you want to send targeted emails that include a subscriber’s first name, confirm you’re collecting first names in the sign up form. Or adjust your form to include a first name field, like this sign up form for Fable & Folly’s podcast updates.

collect first names for personalization

Sending personalized emails based on interest? You might want to ask for specific information on your sign up form in a drop down menu, or by having them check off relevant information. 

sign up form personalization

Or, send a survey out to your subscribers so you can see what people are interested in, and follow up with relevant email content. You can even add a tag when a subscriber clicks a link in your email to more easily categorize them into groups (or segments). 

welcome email personalization

If you want to send a one-off email based on how subscribers engaged with a previous message, create a segment based on actions like opens and clicks.

action based segmentation

Try to avoid asking for too much information up front. Including too many fields can be overwhelming for your potential subscribers. Don’t create a barrier that could prevent them from joining your list.

If you do include more than just name and email address, emphasize the value of your emails. Eexplain what kind of targeted content they can expect.

3. Use email personalization naturally.

Once you’re collecting the right data, there’s one rule to keep in mind: With great personalization power comes great responsibility.

Personalized content should feel natural and not forced. Do it if it makes sense for the goals you have for your broadcast emails or automated campaigns

Look back at the goals you originally set. No matter how you segment your list, personalization should make it easier for you to write with the audience in mind. And, of course, help you establish a personal connection with your email community.

4. Get creative.

There are so many ways to send hyper-relevant emails. Which means there are endless opportunities for you to get creative.

For example, personalization fields aren’t limited to subject lines. You can pepper them into your email content to better hold the attention of your readers. Here’s an example from Melyssa Griffin, who incorporated my first name into her email:

first name personalization

(Side note: In AWeber, you can easily use dynamic content to fix improper capitalizations—like the one above. Learn how to fix lowercase first names without expecting any work from your subscriber). 

For contextual content, consider how you might be able to target automated campaigns to your different subscribers. You can send them campaigns based on what incentive they signed up for, their geographical location or experience level.

One way to find out what your subscribers really need is by referencing any common questions they’ve asked. Are there individuals who want information based on their industry or personal situation? Are there others like that person? If you’re low on ideas, this can be a good place to start.

5. Test your emails.

Testing your emails is a must-do for most people who send email. This is especially important if you’re doing things like adding personalization fields or triggering multiple types of automated campaigns.

After you create a personalized email, send a test to yourself to make sure everything is pulled in correctly. Confirm subscribers’ first names appear in an email if you want them to. If you’re using AWeber to send your emails, add personalization field content so you can view it in your test email.

Carefully set up the email process to go to your intended targeted group. And if triggering different automated campaigns, test the sign up process to make sure the emails launch with the right actions.

Tweak and test as needed until everything looks good to go!

Start personalizing your emails today

Try one of these new tactics to try in your next email send! Be as creative as you like when sending personalized emails.

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Additional reporting by Monica Montesa.

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MarTech approaches, Sitecore’s CDP: Thursday’s daily brief

Plus, Google privacy

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

RFQ vs. RFP: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever shopped for something online, compared prices, and read reviews until you knew you were making the right decision?

That’s similar to what businesses do when they need to purchase something as well, except it’s a slightly more formal process.

In the business world, the process includes having vendors or companies submit RFPs (request for proposal) or RFQs (request for quote) so you can compare their products and services.

These documents help businesses decide which vendor they want to buy from. It’s similar to when we, as consumers, shop online and look at prices and reviews to compare, say, new phones.

Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about RFQs — from what they are, to how to write one, to how it’s different from an RFP.

In an RFQ, you’ll find a vendor’s costs, payment terms, and product specs or details. Most businesses use an RFQ when they know exactly what they’re looking for, the budget they want to spend, and are ready to make a purchase.

If you know what type of features you want to see, you plan to choose a vendor based on price, and you don’t need a service plan or supported contract, an RFQ might be right for you. When you have a bunch of RFQs, you can properly evaluate all the solutions based on price, quickly.

Now, what’s the difference between an RFQ and an RFP?

While an RFP gives more detailed information on the service itself, an RFQ mainly answers how much it costs. An RFQ implies this is a simple, on-demand purchase as opposed to a longer term project that will have a longer buying process.

So, now you might be wondering what this looks like in action. Let’s review below.

1. Preparation

As a company, if you want to use an RFQ, you first need to decide if you want to open the bidding to any vendor, or choose a select group of vendors.

If you’re going to send RFQs to several vendors, you need to decide which vendors you want to send the RFQ template to. You might make this decision based on reputation or people you’ve worked with before.

If you want the bid to be open to all vendors, you can use a procurement software to simplify this process — this will post the RFQ document on your website, allow vendors to upload, ask questions, etc. Plus, this will keep all the RFQs in one place, easy to review, and contact all the vendors that you say no to (more on this later).

Then, you need to create the RFQ document (see template below). This should detail a list of requirements, including a list of products (features required), quantity or duration, date of delivery, and payment terms. If you don’t use a standard template, then companies might give you different information and you can’t compare apples to apples.

Also, ideally you’ve included an introduction to your company, what you need, the deadline to submit, and how to submit. Introducing the problem you’re trying to solve will make it easier for sellers to recognize if this is a good fit.

As a vendor, when it comes time to fill out an RFQ, you need to look at the template that was sent to you, and start gathering all the information. How much will those products cost? Is it in the right currency? Did you include your contact information? As a vendor, your work is now done, unless you’re chosen of course.

2. Review

Now that you’ve sent your RFQ documents to your list of vendors, it’s time to wait until the deadline. When you start receiving the RFQs back, you can review them. Which company gave you the best price? Which company can provide all the products/services you need?

This process will be easier if you used a standard template and asked everyone for the same information. If this was thought out, and you included all the details you need in the template, then this process should be quick.

3. Choose and Close

Once you decide, you can either email everyone the decision, or use the software mentioned above to send out notifications and alert vendors who submitted an RFQ.

It’s best practice to wait to alert the vendors that didn’t get chosen until the one you did choose signs the contract and the deal is closed.

When you let vendors know they weren’t chosen, thank them for their time. It’s important that when you choose a vendor, you aren’t burning bridges with the other vendors because you might need to use them in the future.

RFQ Template

Below is a list of information that you might ask for in an RFQ. You can separate the document into buyer information, seller information, and review and evaluation.

Buyer Information

  • Company Name
  • Company Description
  • Product Details and Goals
  • Contact Information – name, title, phone, email of the point person

Seller Information

  • Product Details — name and specs
  • Product Quantity
  • Delivery Requirements
  • Product Price

Review and Evaluation

  • Evaluation Method
  • Timeline
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Submission Requirements and Instructions

If your company is deciding between multiple vendors, you know what you want, and it basically comes down to price, an RFQ might be the way to go.

rfp template

Reblogged 1 year ago from

The Plain English Guide to Demand-Side Platforms (DSP)

As a marketer, you might be focused on creating organic content most of the time. But you should keep in mind that paid advertising is just as important.

When you manage the paid ads for your business, you can go through individual ad managers such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. However, that’s not the only option. You can also use demand-side platforms (DSP), which are automated, as a way to purchase and manage your online ads.

In fact, did you know that in 2020 $46.86 billion, or 88.7% of all US mobile display ad dollars, were transacted via automated means?

This means that a majority of marketers paid ads used DSPs as a way of purchasing, managing, and tracking online advertising.

Below, let’s review all the basics about DSP advertising.

With a DSP, you can purchase mobile ads on apps, banner ads on search engines, and video ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and even more platforms. Instead of using both Google Ads and Facebook Ads, for instance, you can purchase those ads in one place on a DSP.

The purpose of this is to make ad buying faster, cheaper, and more efficient. Now, let’s dive into how DSP platforms work and why you should use one.

DSP Advertising

So, you might be thinking, “How do DSPs work?”

DSP’s work by using programmatic advertising, which is the buying and selling of ads in real-time through an automated system. With real-time bidding, ad placements are auctioned off in milliseconds.

When you get started with DSP advertising, you’ll need to begin strategizing how much you want to spend. Think about what an effective cost per click and cost per action might be. This will help you set up your online ads so the platform knows how much to spend in any given auction.

The best DSP platforms will allow you to include multiple rich media ads, including video, images, and animation.

Now you might be wondering, “Why would I use a DSP?”

The main reason is that it makes your digital ad experience easier and more cost-effective. You can control, track, and maximize all your digital ads in one place. This means you can manage an entire ad campaign across sites on one dashboard. For example, you can show someone an ad on Google, then show them ads on Facebook, and then across other sites they visit all in one campaign. Before DSPs, those would be separate campaigns on Google and Facebook Ads.

This means you can advertise on many networks, including all the major publishers, in addition to more. With the amount of networks, you’ll have a more global reach.

Additionally, DSPs often partner with third-party data providers, giving you better tracking and reporting capabilities than a single network usually provides. And in the planning process, the targeting options are more personalized, meaning you can get better conversion rates.

When you’re choosing a platform to work with, you’ll want to look at how many ad exchanges the DSP has access to because that affects how many people you can reach. Plus, you’ll want to consider cost, training (full service or self service), support, and ease of use.

Now that you know more about DSP advertising and how it works, let’s discuss the platforms that can help you do it.

Top Demand-Side Platforms

1. Centro

Centro is an omni-channel DSP built to generate better outcomes for your ad campaigns. One of the best features is that it uses AI machine learning to automatically analyze data from numerous campaign parameters to optimize your ads.

With this DSP, you’ll be able to target hyper-local audiences across devices and multiple touchpoints. You’ll also get access to the industry’s leading exchanges, along with 25,000+ audience segments across over 30 different data providers.

2. Google Marketing Platform

Google Marketing Platform is Google’s unified advertising and analytics platform for smarter marketing and better results. This DSP has several products for both small businesses and enterprise companies, including Campaign Manager 360.

With this product, you can save time with cross-channel ad management to maximize insights and optimize media and creative performance across all your digital campaigns. The flexibility is the standout feature on this DSP. You can use third-party features and integrations so you can choose the capabilities that best help you manage and measure your campaigns.

3. Knorex

Knorex is a universal advertising platform that automates personalized marketing across channels, devices, and ad formats. You can market on Google Search, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all in one place.

This DSP also uses AI to learn from past data to predict and adjust ad budget dynamically in real-time to drive higher efficiency.

4. Jampp

Jampp is a DSP that leverages unique contextual and behavioral signals to deliver customers and in-app purchases through programmatic advertising.

The key features of this platform are user acquisition, app retargeting, geolocated ads, dynamic ads, and predictive bidding. This is mainly a mobile user acquisition and app retargeting DSP where you can focus on mobile first ads.

5. Smadex

Smadex is a mobile DSP engineered for growth. The platform uses a combination of its own programmatic advertising technology, machine learning, and first-party data.

With this platform, you can reach global audiences at scale and re-engage audiences with its retargeting capabilities.

When you choose a DSP, make sure you understand how many inventory sources it accesses, which third-party data integrations it offers, and what targeting criteria is available. To successfully run programmatic ads on a DSP, you’ll need to reach global audiences with personalized ads.

paid media template

Reblogged 1 year ago from

State Of GDPR In 2021: Cookie Consent For Designers And Developers

Last week, I gave you an update on everything that’s happened with GDPR since 2018. (TL;DR: A lot has changed.) In this article, we’ll look at cookie consent: specifically, the paradox where marketers are heavily reliant on Google Analytics cookie data but need to comply with regulations.

We’ll take a look at two developments that have impacted cookies, plus a third on the horizon. Then I’ll walk you through the risk-based approach that we’ve taken — for the moment, at least. And come back next time for a deep dive into first-party ad tracking as we start to see moves away from third-party cookies.

Big Development #1: Cookie Consent

In May 2020, the EU updated its GDPR guidance to clarify several points, including two key points for cookie consent:

  • Cookie walls do not offer users a genuine choice, because if you reject cookies you’re blocked from accessing content. It confirms that cookie walls should not be used.
  • Scrolling or swiping through web content does not equate to implied consent. The EU reiterates that consent must be explicit.

What does this mean for our industry?

Well, the EU is tightening up on cookie consent — perhaps the most noticeable (and annoying!) aspect of GDPR. Critics say that cookie notices are a cumbersome block for users, and don’t do anything to protect user privacy. The EU is trying to change this, by promoting simple, meaningful, equitable options for cookie consent.

But that restricts what we can do with cookies, and it hints ahead to when the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR) may come into force. More on that shortly.

Big Development #2: Google and Apple crack down on third-party tracking; get hit by anti-trust complaints

As the big digital players figure out how to comply with GDPR — and how to turn privacy legislation to their advantage — some have already come under fire.

Google is being investigated by the UK’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), for its ‘Privacy Sandbox’ initiative, following complaints from adtech companies and publishers.

The Internet giant, which is also facing an antitrust investigation in Italy for display advertising, and in the US for its search advertising services, is looking to remove third-party cookies from Chrome. (Firefox and Safari already block these cookies by default.)

The complainants say that this change will further concentrate advertising revenue in Google’s hands. Google’s response? The advertising industry needs to make ‘major changes’ as it shifts to a ‘web without third-party cookies’.

Google’s not alone. In October 2020, four French digital advertising lobbies filed an antitrust suit against Apple’s forthcoming iOS privacy change, a feature it’s called App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

ATT, coming in an early-spring 2021 release of iOS 14, shifts app users from an opt-out to an opt-in ad-tracking model. With ATT, every app must get your permission to share your Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which enables third-party ad tracking across multiple sites and channels.

The complainants say that by restricting apps’ ad revenue, developers may have to boost app subscriptions and in-app purchases or switch to Apple’s targeted ad platform — all of which will funnel ad spend away from them and towards Cupertino.

Critics including Facebook have slammed the change, saying it’ll hit small businesses who rely on microtargeted ads. Apple has defended the move and praised the EU’s defence of citizens’ data privacy.

To sum up:

  • Implied consent doesn’t equal consent under GDPR, according to the EU.
  • We should also avoid cookie walls
  • Google and Apple are moving against third-party cookies — which some say exploits their dominant market position.

So what does that mean for us, as designers and developers? First, let’s take a look at why this is important.

Here’s What Designers Should Know About Cookies

  • GDPR is critical for you because you’ll design the points at which cookies are placed, what data is collected, and how it’s processed.
  • A functionality audit means you can map your cookie activity in the data and compliance layers on your service blueprint.
  • It can help to do a cookie audit and gap analysis, i.e. is the existing cookie pattern compliant? What content does it need around it?
  • Follow Privacy by Design best practices. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel — if you’ve created a compliant cookie banner, use your proven design pattern.
  • Work with your compliance and development teams to ensure designs meet GDPR and can be implemented. Only ask for the data you need.
  • If you need to compromise, take a risk-based approach. There’s a walk-through of one that we did further down.
  • Be aware that your content team may need to update your privacy policy as GDPR and your use of cookies evolve.

Here’s What Developers Should Know About Cookies

  • Make sure you’re involved upfront about cookie consent and tracking, so what’s decided can be implemented.
  • If you’re doing a product or website redesign, a cookie audit using Chrome Dev Tools can show you what tracking cookies are being used. Tools like Ghostery or Cookiebot give you more detail.
  • You should implement the standard cookie opt in/out as per GDPR guidance. (Note that while GDPR is standard, the enforcement of it varies across EU countries. There’s more on this further down.) You may stand to lose Google Analytics data. You might also come under pressure to implement things that could be considered as dark patterns. There’s more on this later, with a walk-through of what we did and a look at the risk.

So that’s where we are today. Oh, and there’s one more thing to be aware of: a piece of further legislation that might be coming our way. I like to call it Schrodinger’s Law.

Schrodinger’s Law: The ePrivacy Regulation

You may have heard of GDPR’s twin sister, the ePrivacy Regulation, who’s lurking on the legislative horizon. If you haven’t, here’s an introduction.

As I said above, cookie consent — the notice that pops up when you visit a website — is regulated by the GDPR. However, cookies themselves fall under a different piece of legislation, the ePrivacy Directive of 2002, commonly known as the Cookie Law. Like GDPR, it aims to protect customer privacy.

The ePrivacy Directive is due to be replaced by more stringent legislation, the ePrivacy Regulation. (If you’re interested in the difference between EU directives and regulations, EU directives set out the goals for legislation but delegate the implementation of those goals to member states’ legislatures. EU regulations mandate both the goals and the implementation at an EU-wide level.)

The draft ePrivacy Regulation goes beyond cookies and ad tracking. It applies to all electronic communications, including messaging apps, spam mail, IoT data transfer and more.

The draft ePrivacy Regulation was first presented by the EU in 2017. However, it has to be agreed by both the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. (The Council consists of government representatives of each EU member state.)

This is where it gets messy. Since 2017, the European Parliament and the Council haven’t been able to agree on the scope and detail of the ePrivacy Regulation.

That’s because some countries — widely thought to include the Nordic states of Finland and Denmark — want to strengthen the current ePrivacy Directive. They want users, for example, to be able to set acceptance and rejection of tracking cookies in their browsers, not on every site they visit.

But other countries, notably Austria and believed also to include those with sizeable digital marketing and advertising sectors, say this is bad for business. It’s thought the 27 EU member states are split down the middle on this issue — and they’re all being heavily lobbied by the tech industry.

So the draft regulation has been ricocheting back and forth between the European Commission and its Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society as they try to agree its scope. In November 2020, the Working Party rejected the redrafted legislation once again.

What happens next? There are two possibilities. Either a compromise will be reached, in which case the legislation will be agreed. Because it takes time for legislation to be implemented, the soonest the ePrivacy Regulation could become law is 2025.

Alternatively, the legislation cannot be agreed and is withdrawn by the European Commission. But the EU has staked so much on it. It will be extremely reluctant to take that step.

That’s why I call it Schrodinger’s Law. It’s hard for us to know how to plan for any cookie-related developments because we simply don’t know what’s happening.

So what should I do about cookies right now?

Different EU countries are currently implementing the ePrivacy Directive differently. Over in the UK, the ICO (the UK’s data protection authority) is taking a tough stance. It’s requiring strict consent for analytics cookies, for example, and has spoken out against cookie walls.

Until — and if — we get consistency from a new ePrivacy Regulation, if you’re based in an EU country, start by following the advice from your national Data Protection Authority. Then watch this space for developments around the ePrivacy Regulation.

If you’re based outside the EU, make sure you’re giving EU citizens the options required under the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive.

However, when it comes down to the detail, there are times when I recommend taking a risk-based approach. That’s what we’ve done at Cyber-Duck — and here’s why.

Here’s our original cookie notice. You see these everywhere. They’re pretty meaningless — users just hit accept and continue on their way.

But we wanted to be compliant, so we replaced it with this notice. You’ll see that tracking cookies are turned off by default — in line with ICO guidance. We knew there was a risk we would lose analytics data as GTM would no longer fire on first load.

Let’s see what happened.

Problem solved? Actually, no. It just created another problem. The impact was far more significant than we expected:

Look at the collapse in the blue line when we implemented the new cookie notice. We released the new cookie consent on 17 December and went straight from plenty of tracked traffic to almost zero. (The orange line shows the previous year’s traffic, for comparison.)

In both the before-and-after scenarios, the default option was by far the most popular. Most users just naturally click on “accept” or “confirm”. That’s tricky, because we now know so little about the people visiting our site that we can’t give them the best information tailored to their needs.

We needed a solution. Analytics and marketing data ultimately drive business decisions. I’m sure we all know how important data is. In this case, it was like putting money in a bank account and not knowing how much we’d spent or saved!

Some of the solutions that were posed include design alternatives (would removing the toggle, or having two buttons with a visual nudge towards the “accept” help?) Or would we enable analytics cookies by default?

For now, we’ve implemented a compromise position. Marketing and analytics cookies are on by default, with one clear switch to toggle them off:

And here’s what that’s done to our stats:

The new cookie banner was relaunched on 15 January. You can see our website traffic starts to pick back up again. However, we’re not getting the full data we were getting before as Google Tag Manager doesn’t fire unless a user chooses cookies.

The good news is, we are getting some data back again! But the story doesn’t end here. After we had turned cookie tracking back on by default, the attribution model got messed up. It wasn’t attributing to the correct channel in Google Analytics.

Here’s what we mean:

Scenario 1: (Correct Attribution)

  1. User lands on our website via a paid ad (PPC) or from the search result (organic)
  2. User accepts cookies straight away.
  3. The channel source is attributed correctly, e.g. to PPC.

Scenario 2: (Incorrect Attribution)

  1. User lands on our website via a paid ad (PPC) or from the search result (organic)
  2. User visits a few other pages on our website without responding to the cookie banner prompt (banner appears on every page until it gets a response)
  3. User finally accepts cookie banner after browsing a few pages.
  4. Attribution comes through as direct — although they originally came from a search engine.

How does that work? When a user browses other pages on the site, nothing is tracked until they respond to the cookie prompt. Tracking only kicks in at that point. So to Google, it looks as though the user has just landed on that page — and they are attributed to Direct traffic.

Back to the drawing board.

Note: I’m sure by now you’re starting to see a pattern here. This entire experience is new for us and there’s not a lot of documentation around, so it’s been a real learning curve.

Now, how could we solve this attribution issue and stop users from navigating around the site until they’ve selected their cookie preference?

A cookie wall is one option we considered, but that would potentially push us further away from being compliant, according to the ICO. (Though you might like to try browsing their site incognito and see if they stick to their own guidance…)

But that’s what we’ve chosen to go with. The journey ends here for now, as we’re still gathering data. In the future, we want to explore other tools and the potential impact of moving away from Google Analytics.

So what’s everyone else doing?

Well, McDonald’s UK offers straightforward on/off buttons:

Coca Cola’s British site nudges you to accept by making the ‘reject’ option harder to find:

Whereas Sanrio just has an option to agree to ad tracking:

Hello Kitty, hello cookies.

Die Zeit offers free access if you accept tracking cookies — but for an untracked, ad-free experience you’ll have to pay:

And here’s one of my favourite dark patterns. This restaurant site only has the ‘Necessary’ cookies selected. But it nudges you to the ‘Allow all cookies’ big red button — and when you click that, the analytical and ad cookie boxes are automatically checked and set. Give it a go here!

Even the EU isn’t consistent on its own sites.

The European Parliament’s cookie consent offers two clear options:

The CJEU’s site isn’t so clear:

While Europol’s site comes with two pre-checked boxes:

And if you look at the sites for the German presidency of the Council of the European Union (July–December 2020), at first it seems as if there’s no cookies at all:

When you land on the site, there are no cookie banners or prompts. A closer look, with cookie extension tools, shows that no cookies are being placed either.

So are they capturing any analytics data? The answer is yes.

We found this little snippet in their code, which shows they are using ‘Piwik’. Piwik is now known as Matomo, one of a clutch of new tools that help with cookie compliance along with Fathom (server-side tracking) and HelloConsent (cookie management).

So alternatives and solutions are emerging. We’ll take a closer look at that next time — with new alternatives to third-party cookies that will help you take control of your data and get the insight you need to deliver optimum experiences to your customers. Stay tuned!

Further Reading

Reblogged 1 year ago from