free b2b marketing ebook

Free eBook: Creating a B2B marketing plan for your company

Our recent blog series has been all about how to plan a perfect B2B marketing campaign - the importance of planning, writing value propositions and documenting your marketing plan.This free eBook is the final step in your successful marketing campaign: putting all the pieces together and start generating more leads!


How to Create Sustainable Content Marketing Plan

Keep the wheel turning: How to create sustainable content marketing plan

  • Interview with our Account Director, Aidan Danaher for his marketing tips and advice
  • Reasons why marketing campaigns can run out steam and energy
  • Tips for making your content marketing plan sustainable and 7 areas to consider

The first recorded attempt at creating a perpetual motion machine was Bhaskara’s Wheel – a wheel which always had more weight on one side than the other invented by an Indian scientist in the 12th century.

Since then, many an engineer has attempted to create a perpetual motion machine – one which will keep on turning without the input of any additional energy. And none has succeeded. The concept is fundamentally flawed because all bodies are subject to the second law of thermodynamics, which states that they are subject to forces and processes that gradually dissipate their kinetic energy.

The point in this short detour into mechanics and physics? Simply put, no motion occurs without the input of some form of energy. When it comes to a marketing plan, the same principle applies. Even if you have the best laid plans, even if your marketing has gotten off to a good start, it won’t simply keep on revolving by itself.

In today’s post, I’m speaking to Fifty Five and Five’s very own Aidan Danaher (our marketing maestro) for his insights into creating a sustainable approach to digital and content marketing plan. Aidan’s a graduate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has a lot of experience helping brands differentiate themselves and talk about their products and services in the right way. He provides expert tips for digital and content marketers about how to keep creating content, staying fresh and keeping the marketing wheel turning.

Why do digital and content marketing machines “run out of steam”?

So, you had a load of meetings, you created a content calendar, you got exec buy in and you laid out your digital marketing plans for the next 6-12 months. It was all there in a proposal document, a spreadsheet – or even on a Gantt chart! It looked good and your colleagues got on board from day one. Dave from R&D wrote a blog post about your product. Karen from HR got stuck in with Twitter. Even Kwazi from IT agreed to appear in your video. The perfect start.

But then, three months later, you find yourself looking at the corporate website. No new content has been uploaded since the beginning of the year. The initial bubble of enthusiasm has burst and the digital and content marketing plan seems to have given up the ghost. What went wrong?

  • Falling at the first hurdle. Companies often expect immediate results from digital and content marketing. When their first sorties don’t turn into a rush of leads, they very quickly get dispirited.
  • No time. It’s the excuse any marketing manager has heard when trying to corral colleagues into writing blog posts and other content.
  • No new ideas. After the first enthusiasm, you soon ran out of ideas for engaging Twitter posts and articles.

Aidan notes that these issues are all too common:

“It’s great when people start to implement a new marketing plan. For anyone working in marketing, to see progress is a fantastic feeling. The next challenge is sustaining that progress and keeping momentum. Often, we see companies make a huge effort creating a ‘big bang’ campaign, which very quickly ends up running out of energy.”

Make your content marketing plan sustainable

1. Ownership

Aidan explains that for any marketing plan to be a success, ownership is key:

“From experience, it’s essential that you have one person whose job it is to push your marketing strategy forward. These things don’t happen by themselves; you need someone who’s dedicated to creating new content ideas, publishing said content on your website, monitoring its reach, sharing over social media, creating automation campaigns etc.”

2. Create a process

Content doesn’t publish itself; you need a process in place which will ensure the content is created regularly, and maintain quality standards.

“Put in place a simple and consistent process. Use tasks to ensure things get done. A lot of the most successful content marketers are producing new content regularly. For the team here, we’ve created an internal calendar and stick to it (most of the time!). But say you’re a small tech start-up – producing 2 or 3 blogs a week isn’t a reality. So aim to create at least one per week/every day 10 days. Again build a process around that goal. Ensure each blog is well researched, edited, proofed and then published at a time and day when it will most likely be shared.”

3. Have an editorial theme

Very often, companies produce a lot of ‘generic’ content. To make your blog stand out, it should be personalised to your target audience. Aidan says:

“Understand who your audience is, the value you can offer them, and be consistent in what you say. Let’s say you deliver managed IT services for example, it’s a crowded industry. So how do you stand out and get people visiting your site? It’s no good writing about general IT news for instance – people will head to magazines for that. Instead, your blog, eBooks, email newsletter and tweets should be very clearly targeted at specific people, problems and solutions. A marketing persona is a great way to kick things off.”

4. Store ideas in a shared place

From time to time, you’ll have a great idea for a new article for the website, or even a brand new marketing campaign. However, if you only jot that down on a piece of paper then forget all about it, don’t expect it to ever materialise.

“At Fifty Five and Five, we use a shared OneNote page in Office 365, where everyone can add new ideas, give feedback and see what we’ve each contributed. Whatever you use – be that a SharePoint team site, Evernote or some other app – it’s really important for ideas to be stored in a shared space where everyone can access them.”

5. Create a content pipeline

No matter what your content marketing goals are, creating a pipeline of content for the next few weeks or even months will ensure you don’t get caught out. Aidan explains:

“By having a view of the number of blogs, email campaigns, eBooks, infographics and whatever other content you expect to publish in the coming weeks, you can build a much stronger long term strategy.”

6. Short and long-term strategies

Ideally, content marketing plan should come in two forms. You need a long term ‘editorial’, where you write about company news, produce great newsletters, and simply produce content on topics that are important to you. However, this also needs to be combined with occasional pushes around new products and events, Aidan says:

“The content marketing owner needs to combine long term strategy with short term pushes. We recommend about 66% of your content should be ‘regular’ content, then the last third needs to be your short term campaign content.
“For example, in Q1, you might be releasing a new product. So, naturally you want to push that new product and make people aware of it, but not at the expense of your wider plan. This isn’t an exact science of course, but say you post 40 Tweets a month. I’d say about 25 of those need to be general content, the rest should be focused on your new product. If you’re only talking about your new product, your followers will get bored.”

7. Stay inspired

The greatest challenge for any content creator is keeping new ideas coming in. Aidan recommends a variety of ways of generating these ideas:

“It’s very important to stay inspired, and I always recommend people follow people who are influential in their field on Twitter or LinkedIn for content ideas. Every day I read check my Feedly account to read up on content related to our field too. Besides that, a good old ‘brainstorming’ session is generally effective, and if you’re ever really stuck for ideas, go back to your personas and think about questions those people would be likely to ask. Think about your audience’s problems then start providing them with the solutions.
A marketing machine will never ‘run itself’. In order to keep your digital and content marketing strategy wheel moving, you need to build up a strategy and then keep driving it forward with consistent, quality content. It’s important to stay motivated and measure how you’re doing to ensure it’s having the intended impact. However, once you get there, it’s amazing to see just what impact content marketing can have.”

Looking to improve your marketing?

We can help put a plan together for you!

Get in touch


a/b testing mailchimp

What's the value of A/B testing?

  • Final post in our series on email marketing campaigns
  • Learn what A/B testing is
  • How to set up A/B testing in MailChimp

Welcome to the fourth and final post in our email marketing series. So far, we’ve discussed how to set up your email marketing campaign, how to create the best content to put in your emails and how to design them to make them visually appealing. Today, we’re focusing on the distribution of your email campaigns and how you can give them the best possible chance of being opened, read, and clicked on by your audience. That’s what A/B testing is all about.

What is email A/B testing?

A/B testing is the process of creating two similar, but not identical, emails to compare which performs better. A/B testing involves analysing the open and click rates of your email version “A” and version “B” to see which content, subject line, design style, or send time had a greater impact. A/B testing, also known as ‘split testing’, allows you to find the best version of your email before you send it to your entire audience. You test on a small sample size (sending version ”A” to one half of the sample, and version “B” to the rest), and the better performing email then gets sent to the remaining recipients to give you the best chances of engagement.

The value of A/B testing

Think about the number of emails you receive each day. How many of those do you open? And of that number, how many do you actually read through to the end?

We all know from experience just how hard it is for an email to capture our attention. So, when you’re writing marketing emails yourself, it’s important to give them the best chance of being opened. And this is the value of A/B testing.

A/B testing lets you experiment with new and interesting email content to try and stand out from the crowd and arrest your audience’s attention. Take your email subject lines, for example. 33% of recipients will open emails based solely on the subject line (more than, say, sender). A/B testing can increase your email open rates by helping you see how people responded to two different subject lines, allowing you to choose the subject line that performed best.

Variables for A/B testing emails

There are many factors that you can A/B test to help decide the most appropriate strategy for your next email blast:

  • What day or time should you send your email?
  • What subject lines are the most effective?
  • What name should you use in the “From” field?
  • Should you use merge tags?
  • Will certain templates, content or calls-to-action affect engagement?

A/B testing can help you answer these questions.

A/B testing in MailChimp tutorial

We have A/B tested our own emails at Fifty Five and Five in our email marketing tool of choice, MailChimp. It is one of the leading platforms for email automation, helping its users send over 246 billion emails, generating 66.5 billion opens and almost 5 billion clicks last year. MailChimp has a number of great features which support A/B testing.

In June 2017, we wanted to experiment to discover how we could improve the open rate of our monthly newsletter, so we carried out an A/B test (see image below). We began by asking ourselves certain questions:

  • What makes a great subject line?
  • Should we send to a smaller audience if they’re more likely to be interested in the content?
  • Does the design of our emails match our brand?

After analysing our open and click rates for older campaigns, we began A/B testing two different styles of layout. One was our original design with multiple stories, and one was a new layout with one longer, more detailed story. We used A/B testing to see which style performed better.

a/b testing mailchimp

The new email layout performed better, which we have since implemented into our monthly newsletter and MAYA newsletter.

How to set up A/B testing in MailChimp

Let’s look at how you can set up A/B testing for your next email campaign in MailChimp.

  1. First, select a new campaign, and select ‘A/B Test’.
  2. Choose the list you want to send to, and decide whether to send to the entirety of that list or a segment.
  3. Decide on the variable you want to A/B test: Subject line, Sender name, Content or Send time.
  4. Select the combinations you wish to test, the percentage of your recipients to send the test to, and the metric for determining the winning email.

a/b testing mailchimp

After the allotted time, MailChimp will automatically inform you of the winning campaign and schedule it to send. Choosing ‘manual selection’ will let you review the data yourself and decide which campaign to send. By viewing your campaign report, you can compare the engagement for your combinations, as well as see more detailed reports for each.

a/b testing mailchimp

It’s as easy as A/B, see?

As great as A/B testing is, it’s not the silver bullet for your email campaigns. It can tell you which of your email variants have received better engagement—a good indication of the more popular option. It can advise you on which might be the best subject line, content or design, but you still need to do the heavy lifting of creating the emails themselves.

That said, A/B testing can help you keep your emails feeling fresh. And that should naturally transfer over to your readers, helping pique their interest and boost your open and click rates.

Fifty Five and Five run killer marketing campaigns, managing them from start to finish. We identify the target audience, create dedicated content for them and create compelling design that matches company branding. We carry out A/B testing, as well as other analytical features to give emails the best chance of being opened and engaged with.

For more information on A/B testing or any other element of email marketing, get in touch with us today.

 

[edsanimate_start entry_animation_type= "tada" entry_delay= "0" entry_duration= "0.5" entry_timing= "linear" exit_animation_type= "" exit_delay= "" exit_duration= "" exit_timing= "" animation_repeat= "1" keep= "yes" animate_on= "scroll" scroll_offset= "100" custom_css_class= ""]

Want to improve your email marketing?

[mks_button size="large" title="Download our free eBook now!" style="squared" url="https://www.fiftyfiveandfive.com/mailchimp-ebook/" target="_blank" bg_color="#ffffff" txt_color="#20a1d6" icon="" icon_type="" nofollow="0"]

[edsanimate_end]

 


email newsletter design

Your bulletproof email newsletter design guide

  • Part three in our four-part series on email marketing campaigns
  • How to design an appealing email newsletter
  • Information hierarchy, mobile-first and choosing the right colours

Today, we are continuing our series on creating the best version of an email marketing campaign for your business.

We recently looked at filling your emails with the best content; today’s focus is on the importance of how your newsletter looks and the part design plays in driving leads. This best practice guide will help you put in place some great design fundamentals that will go a long way to making sure your email newsletter design complements your company’s overall aesthetic.

Why does email newsletter design matter?

As we discussed in our previous article, the content of your email and marketing in general is something to take very seriously as a company and brand. With the array of different ways current and potential customers can engage with you, your content has more opportunity to ‘speak’ than ever. But how your organisation looks has a profound effect on how your message is perceived, too. Countless studies indicate that as a species we process visual data better and faster than we do from text alone. So it could be argued that email newsletter design is the most important element of your email campaigns.

Visual examples best explain the reasoning behind the importance of email newsletter design. The following are two examples of email marketing. One is of a high standard and the other… not so much. You can decide for yourself which is which:

[mks_col]

[mks_one_half]

A):

bad email newsletter design example

[/mks_one_half]

[mks_one_half]B):

good email newsletter design example

[/mks_one_half]

[/mks_col]

 

The importance of first impressions

Look at the style of the example newsletter A) above. Even if the copy was polished and relevant to you, it probably wouldn’t make much of an impact. Did you know it only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person? Well, the same theory applies to your organisation’s marketing. Your direct marketing, such as a newsletter and other email campaigns, gives a lasting impression of what your business is like. The way your email looks is crucial to making that good first impression. By making the design as pleasing an experience as possible you can ensure that your reader’s experience of your brand will be a positive one.

So, what can you do to make sure your design will let all the other great aspects of your email marketing shine? By following our tips below, you can make sure your message is delivered in the right way.

What to include in email design

Put your important information first

We’ve seen a lot of direct mail and newsletters that wait right until the bottom of the message before presenting their call to action (CTA). We think it’s better to get the most important information of your email up front so it is seen and can immediately be acted upon. Don’t be afraid to make your call to action the first thing your audience sees. But remember that you will also want to include a CTA further down the page where the reader will see it at the right time (surrounded by information relevant to their decision). Getting them down the page is a matter of persuasive copy and effective design.

email newsletter designSource

Adopt a mobile-first mindset

It’s 2017, and email marketers cannot afford to ignore the power of smartphones and tablets. Research in 2015 about email on mobile devices found that over a quarter of all B2B emails were opened on a mobile device. If your email isn’t responsive, you can expect your open rates will suffer. Badly.

Design around the subject matter

What are you trying to say and is your design aiding or hindering your message? Your message need to come first and, based on what it is, will inform how it’s visually represented.

Colour scheme

We experience the world in colour and reactions can be predicted based on different colours. Your company likely has colour codes in their brand guidelines. Your email colour palette should match. Alternatively, you could go for colours that match up with any images you want to include.

Use white space & line breaks

Boost your design clarity by using white space to contrast with more text-heavy parts of your design.

 

No design department?

If you are reading this post, sweating about how you’re going to free up some funds for a designer in your marketing team, fear not. There are plenty of options when it comes to third-party tools and solutions that enable you to build a great email campaign yourself and in good time too. Tools like MailChimp, for example, include plenty of ready-made templates to choose from as well as a campaign builder that uses a simple drag and drop design. Your designs are automatically fully responsive, and you can see what they look like on a mobile device with the click of a button. While trying to incorporate all these design tips and best practice can seem daunting, the right email builder can make the design aspect of the email easier, so you can focus all your efforts on making your content convert.

Find out more

When it comes to email marketing, your success is all in the numbers: the open, click-through and subscription rates. And it takes more than simply good design to make these numbers grow and pay dividends.

 

At Fifty Five and Five, our in-house design team work hand in hand with our content copywriters to create email campaigns that stand out from both a visual and copy writing perspective. If you’d like to see how we do it, sign up to our monthly newsletter or get in touch with us today.


Master Email Copywriting

Master email copywriting with these 5 quick tips

  • Part two in our four part series on email marketing campaigns
  • Learn how to master email copywriting
  • Finding the right tone, creating an engaging subject line and writing your call-to-action

Welcome to the second post in our email marketing series, where we’re going to help you master your email copywriting. Before we get started, you should make sure you know the difference between email campaigns and monthly newsletters; make sure you’ve established your goals and built up your email subscriber list.

If you don’t know how to do those yet, you should read the first post in our series before you go any further! Think of this post as an email copywriting master class—showing you what content to include in your emails and teaching you how to write it well.

Are emails harder to open than ever?

Thanks to stiff competition and declining audience attention spans, it’s more difficult than ever to get your emails read, let alone acted on. So, what sets apart those emails that do engage with their audience? Design is playing an increasingly large part in the success of email open rates, helping create visually appealing and enticing emails. But if your content isn’t up to scratch, then your click rates are going to remain low. And your click rate is arguably more important than open rates when it comes to generating leads.

So how can you make sure your content is as good as it can be? Mastering email copywriting is no small task, but we’ve put together some best practice advice on how you can fill your emails with engaging, appealing and persuasive copy to get your readers taking action on the things you say.

Here are five things you should focus on when it comes to mastering email copywriting.

1. Find the right tone

Emails can be ‘chatty’, so you can let your brand’s personality out a little more compared to blogs or longer-form content. Using merge tags—that identifies a recipient’s email to address them by name—and writing in the second person (using personal pronouns ‘you’ and ‘your’) are good ways to orient the language towards the audience, not the author. As spam is more prevalent than ever, make sure you also use a familiar sender name—this helps the reader connect with you before they’ve opened the email.

2. Create engaging subject lines

The best subject lines arrest the reader’s attention. Keeping them short and using actionable language are the best ways to do this. You need to strike a balance between telling them why they should open the email without giving away exactly what’s inside. Here are some typical angles you should aim to include in your subject lines:

  • Create a sense of exclusivity/urgency or personality
  • Quote statistics, metrics or testimonials
  • Pose a compelling question
  • Invoke the mind’s eye
  • Use puns or humour

3. Stick to the three C's

When you are considering your content approach, remember the three C’s above all else: clear, consistent and concise.

It’s easy to get distracted by trying to be witty in order to stand out, but clarity should always come first; humour or entertainment second. The body of your email should cater more towards information than persuasion—leave the latter for your subject lines and headers when you’re trying to arrest the reader’s attention. Once they’ve opened the email, you need to be clear and to the point, making it as easy as possible to understand.

Especially in emails, you should stick to short sentences and paragraphs. Keeping your message on-point is key to writing concise email copy. MailChimp allows for several different styles of content layout, so the length of your content will likely vary depending on the layout. Here’s the kind of layout and text length we stick to at Fifty Five and Five:

email copywriting tips

You also need to be consistent in your subject line and email body. When readers don't get what they're promised in the subject line, click-through rates plummet.

4. What goes into email copywriting

So, you know the type of language to use; what are you going to talk about? Obviously, this varies based on the company. Here are some general goals or aims you could offer your audience:

  • Advice/Guidance
  • Interest/Opinion
  • News
  • Interviews

Many companies’ emails only explain the features of new products or services they are offering, when they should be explaining the benefit. Instead of announcing a new edition of your tool, why don’t you talk about what it can do for the user? What problems can it solve? Understanding the problems and interests of your email recipients is the key to creating emails that will appeal to them.

Another pro-tip: more email is read on mobile than on desktops, and you need to accommodate for this. Make sure your email looks great on any device or browser. Keep the content concise and consistent for every device. MailChimp lets you preview how your campaign will look on desktop, web browser and mobile.

5. A compelling call-to-action

Just like your web copy and blogs, your emails should have calls to action, too, and they should be as clear as possible. People tend to scan emails more than any other kind of content. And call-to-actions will often come at the bottom of the email, where some recipients won’t even get to. That’s why in HTML emails it’s a good idea to include a button prominently displayed near the top of the email body. In fact, buttons are great calls to action across your emails in general—we use them all the time in our own emails.

email copywriting tipsEmail copywriting, accomplished

You need a balance of all the above to stand out from the crowd and prove your value to your email subscribers. The content you write is the best way to do that; empathise with your audience’s concerns and problems, get them asking questions, and show how you can help them. Email can (and should) be a very personal method of communication. If you get that personality across to your audience, they’ll be more likely to want to get to know you and trust you.

Visual elements can accentuate your content to bring it off the page. Videos, images, and GIFs have all become extremely effective devices for arresting your audience’s attention, and infographics have become immensely popular in recent years too within email campaigns. But more on that next time!

 

Make sure you tune in for the next post in our email marketing series on the role of design. If you want more information on creating the best content for your email campaigns or monthly newsletters, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

[edsanimate_start entry_animation_type= "tada" entry_delay= "0" entry_duration= "0.5" entry_timing= "linear" exit_animation_type= "" exit_delay= "" exit_duration= "" exit_timing= "" animation_repeat= "1" keep= "yes" animate_on= "scroll" scroll_offset= "100" custom_css_class= ""]

Want to improve your email marketing?

[mks_button size="large" title="Download our free eBook now!" style="squared" url="https://www.fiftyfiveandfive.com/mailchimp-ebook/" target="_blank" bg_color="#ffffff" txt_color="#20a1d6" icon="" icon_type="" nofollow="0"]

[edsanimate_end]

 


Mailchimp Tutorial: How to Use MailChimp for Email Marketing

Mailchimp Tutorial: How to Use MailChimp for Email Marketing

  • Part one in our four part series on email marketing campaigns
  • Our introductory MailChimp tutorial 
  • Get set with our tips for setting up your email campaigns

From generating leads to updating your customers and business partners on the health and direction of your organisation, email marketing is a vital part of your wider digital marketing strategy. However, for many organisations, email marketing campaigns can be disappointing. But don’t worry, help is at hand in the form of our MailChimp tutorial series to help you design the best, conversion-creating emails that recipients will open, act on, and even forward to their colleagues.

Over the next few weeks, we will cover the most important aspects of what makes a good email marketing campaign, from writing to design and distribution. All with the aim of helping you get better results to continue evolving your marketing efforts.

Email marketing is an extremely powerful way of connecting with people. Why? About 2.8 billion people use email every day and that number continues to rise. There are  about 196 billion emails sent daily and about 109 billion of those are business emails. In spite of (or perhaps due to) all this traffic, a large proportion of email marketing campaigns are unsuccessful. Emails don't get read and have little impact and lead to few or no conversions. This series will look at what you should be doing to make your email campaigns a success, as well as common mistakes to avoid. Let's get started!

The best-laid schemes

When we talk to our clients, we often hear that their email marketing campaigns started off with great intentions. However, even when they are ‘doing everything right’, the results are often lacklustre and eventually, the motivation to consistently put the effort into creating fresh content diminishes and campaigns are consigned to the scrapheap.

  • Poor open rates
  • Low click-through rate
  • A sense that email marketing doesn’t work or isn’t innovative enough
  • Lack of analysis
  • Boring design
  • Unexciting content or copy

However, with the right setup, a neat design, some engaging copy, and smart bench-marking and analysis, you can transform your email marketing into the pillar of your marketing strategy that it should be.

Email campaign or monthly newsletter?

Often, when you mention email marketing, people immediately think of their company’s monthly newsletter. It seems there is a misconception that email campaigns and newsletters are the same things. The aim of newsletters is to engage your subscribers with quality free content and very little sales promotion that is sent out on a regular basis (usually once per month). The purpose is to grow your subscriber list.

Email marketing campaigns, on the other hand, are more transactional. The purpose of email marketing is to drive sales – by promoting sales promotions within the email itself, or by asking people to visit your website to read or view a piece of content (but with the ultimate goal still being to sell something). Your email content should be created with the intention of converting your lead into a new customer.

Our three step MailChimp tutorial for SETTING UP a successful email marketing campaign

Step 1: Choosing the right tools

You should have no excuse when it comes to building out a successful email campaign thanks to the proliferation of mass-email design tools that make creating a great email to market to your audience pretty easy. MailChimp, for example, allows you to set up and automatically populate your mailing list, create a newsletter or send an automated email to your target audience simply and effectively. That is why we choose to build our campaigns with this solution.

Step 2: Establishing your goals with the right template 

Just because emails are easy to create doesn’t mean they will get you the right results. Along with your emails, you also need to create a plan. By setting goals, you are able to benchmark the success of your email campaigns and decide if your emails are having the desired effect.

When generating content, it’s very important to understand who the content is for. Who are you aiming your email at? Is this an email to update current customers on some relevant company information, or are you telling them about a new report you've just published? Whatever the purpose, knowing who the target audience is will inform the design and content. Also, knowing what action you want your target audience to take is another way of informing the content of your campaign.

Speaking of content, having a clear message is also essential to achieving your goals. If you are inconsistent here, how can you expect your target audience to click where you want them to click? A simple and clear message is best for hitting your targets.

In MailChimp you can: split your mailing list up any way you want, so that you can target your audience in the most specific way possible. The platform also gives you access to tons of templates so choosing the one that fits your style (or the style of that campaign) is simple and quick. You can concentrate on creating great content (more on that below) and analyse the results of your campaigns with detailed stats on open rates and click rates, etc. All of which will help you monitor/adjust your goals. The example below shows the range of templates that you can drive your email campaign with.

Mailchimp Tutorial: How to Use MailChimp for Email Marketing

Step 3: Building up your email subscriber list

You need to build your email list because your current contacts move jobs, their email addresses change, they unsubscribe. This means you need to continuously add new contacts to keep the numbers going in the right direction. How can you do this without buying dodgy email lists? Importing from lists of known contacts is best practice here. Most businesses already have a ready-made database that exists in the organisation. Import your CRM, Outlook address book, your sales contacts, etc. into your mailing list and immediately you have a large number of contacts who are already engaged in what your company is doing.

Provide a valuable incentive with a simple way for people to subscribe

Another way of growing your list is to provide value to prospective subscribers and make it as simple as possible to sign up. Value here is defined as content that is worth something to your target audience:

Valuable incentive = compelling content/important news/discounts/etc.

Simple way to subscribe = header on website/slider/pop-up/etc.

In MailChimp you can: import contacts from other areas of your business with a couple of clicks. From there, you can create customised and visually appealing templates easily in their campaign builder. This makes it much easier to concentrate on generating that remarkable and valuable content that will help ensure you get higher open rates and a higher number of new contacts from referrals.

Mailchimp Tutorial: How to Use MailChimp for Email Marketing

Sharpen your tools

Email marketing is important and should be a primary weapon in your marketing arsenal. Now you have an overview of what setting up a campaign entails, you can put in place a solid foundation.

Look out for the next article in our series which will cover the art of writing engaging copy to inform, persuade and delight your target audience – copy that will ensure better open rate percentages, downloads, click-through rates and conversion from lead to a sale.

In the second post of the series, we'll be sharing the secret sauce to writing the perfect email copy - keep up with our latest posts by following us on Twitter.

[edsanimate_start entry_animation_type= "tada" entry_delay= "0" entry_duration= "0.5" entry_timing= "linear" exit_animation_type= "" exit_delay= "" exit_duration= "" exit_timing= "" animation_repeat= "1" keep= "yes" animate_on= "scroll" scroll_offset= "100" custom_css_class= ""]

Want to improve your email marketing?

[mks_button size="large" title="Download our free eBook now!" style="squared" url="https://www.fiftyfiveandfive.com/mailchimp-ebook/" target="_blank" bg_color="#ffffff" txt_color="#20a1d6" icon="" icon_type="" nofollow="0"]

[edsanimate_end]


how to create an event registration form

Creating an interesting event registration form using Typeform

  • Introduction to Typeform, the online event registration form creator
  • Step by step guide to creating event form through Typeform
  • Example of Typeform used on the Fifty Five and Five website

Back in 2013, Paula Balzer—COO of TBA Global—shared a Q&A with TIME magazine regarding the evolution of corporate events. In the interview, Paula explained how the expectations of the audience have changed over recent years, largely due to improved sophistication of technology. Retaining an audience’s attention is more difficult than ever, and you need to do everything in your power to both host a successful event, and make sure you fill it to the rafters

Company events are ideal methods for generating a buzz around your business. An opportunity to meet with likeminded individuals, company events—whether for a product launch, fundraising or networking—offer numerous benefits:

  • An effective means for communication at both the internal and external level
  • Enable and foster interpersonal relationships
  • Improve team motivation and work ethic
  • Reward achievements and recognize success
  • Promote business and brand recognition
  • Build a community around your company

Getting as many people as possible to attend these events should therefore be a top priority as a Microsoft Partner. And how can you do that? Well, much like technology has changed audience expectations, it can be used to improve the number of people you can get to attend. This is where Typeform can help you create event registration forms people can’t wait to sign up for.

Conversational forms

Most often, getting site visitors to fill out forms (like registering for your company events) is a difficult task – especially when they are bland and uninspiring. Typeform provides an interactive alternative that can offer your customers a richer, more engaging way to fill out event registration forms. Offering more natural progression like a real ‘human’ conversation, Typeform can help your forms stand out and achieve better completion rates.

In the rest of this post, I’ll explore how to create an event registration form using Typeform. I’ll take you through the process from building your event registration form to analyzing it for future reference and insight.

Build

how to create an event registration form

This is where the magic happens… on the left are your question options, ranging from simple Q&As to more complex payment stripes and legal terms and conditions. I’ll explore some of the most common and useful question types you can use to get the most from your form-fillers.

how to create an event registration form

Typeform is all about conversational forms, so you shouldn’t be afraid to use colloquial or chatty language. Spark rapport with your audience early – get them engaged so they’re more likely to fill out the entire event registration form.

how to create an event registration form

Having personality come through in your forms is important, and the best way to do that is to make things personal. “Piping” feeds information from one question into the text of another. When a user tells you their name, you can then refer to them throughout the rest of the form.

how to create an event registration form

This is a great way to gather information about those filling out your forms. It’s always useful to know who’s coming to your event. You can make certain answers required – although it’s best not to do so for every question as that can deter people. Make sure you allow people to choose multiple fields for questions such as these if appropriate.

This is a great way to gather information about those filling out your forms. It’s always useful to know who’s coming to your event. You can make certain answers required – although it’s best not to do so for every question as that can deter people. Make sure you allow people to choose multiple fields for questions such as these if appropriate.

how to create an event registration form

Our attention spans are shorter than ever – break up questions with statements that can encourage or persuade the user to keep going. Embed videos from sites like YouTube to break up the flow and inject a little fun. It’s all about keeping your audience engaged, and statements are a great way to do that – it’s like you’re having direct conversation with them.

Our attention spans are shorter than ever – break up questions with statements that can encourage or persuade the user to keep going. Embed videos from sites like YouTube to break up the flow and inject a little fun. It’s all about keeping your audience engaged, and statements are a great way to do that – it’s like you’re having direct conversation with them.

Design

how to create an event registration form

There are currently over 500 services integrated with Typeform, allowing you to connect other applications for a more seamless experience. MailChimp integration, for example, allows you to create new MailChimp subscriber lists based on Typeform entries. Some of the most notable integrations include:

  • Email and SMS notifications
  • MailChimp
  • Trello
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • MySQL Database

Metrics and results let you keep track of recipients’ answers, offering you valuable insights into what areas of your form worked well, and which struggled. This is also where you can get an overview of your audience: the most common ages, gender, roles… and the more questions you ask, the more accurate your representation of your audience will be. This will prove incredibly useful when it comes to events, as you can gauge your audience and cater for them ahead of the event. See two individuals that share similar interests and may hit it off? Make sure to introduce them to one another at your event.

You can also add a Google Analytics tracking code to your Typeforms to further track visitor behavior and demographics.

Typeforms are easy to share, and can be done so across all major social media platforms and via email. Better yet, you can embed your Typeform into your website for users to fill out within the same window. If users naturally navigate to your form, rather than clicking a button and opening an external window, you can expect the number that fill it out will increase.

You can still create a button or link to launch in an external window if you would prefer, or if there’s not enough space on the page.


Are you using BuzzSumo to boost your content to top social media influencers?

  • BuzzSumo is a social media tool that allows you to research keywords and influencers
  • Step-by-step guide to using BuzzSumo’s research features
  • See how you can research potential topics and those most influential

With over 2.3 billion active social media users across the globe, you can, in theory, get your content to reach a huge amount of people online. Compare that to the days when all we had was printed media – even with maximum exposure, your content would only be able to reach the people who bought a physical copy of that magazine or newspaper.

So, social media-friendly content is clearly a great way of getting your messages in front of a (potentially) huge number of people who will engage with your product and brand.

However, not all social media users are equal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have a few hundred views of your blog a day, and it’s great if Joe Bloggs with his 32 followers shares your article. But…it’s not really what you’re looking for is it? When you’ve spent hours working on your blog, editing it to perfection and cutting out any jargon, you want it to get maximum exposure. So how do you do this? How do you go about attracting those big shares, how do you get your content to go ‘viral.’

Well, according to Science News  it’s all about influence…

A key reason some ideas are so successful, conventional wisdom has held, is that a few highly influential people espouse them.

That seems pretty straightforward. We’ve probably all, at some point, considered buying a product or chosen to do something because some famous person has been seen doing the same thing. In social media, where a lot of powerful and important people share their ideas and beliefs, the same principle stands. So, making sure your content reaches those important people and getting them to share it, is perhaps the ultimate goal of content marketing.

In B2C marketing, it’s often very obvious who you’d want sharing your content. However, when it comes to a niche like enterprise technology marketing, the influencers are far less often world famous names (OK, Bill Gates rings a bell…). So, how do you find those people and get them to share your content?

The top social media influencers

A social media influencer is someone with a large following. Yet, like with most things, it’s about quality, not quantity.  The top social media influencers, the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, they’ve built their followers and reputation organically. Forbes describes influencers as those in a “specific niche based on their reach, resonance, and relevance to a specific topic.” Once you’ve found those people, you can make a plan of action to enhance your social influencer strategy.

Really, all engagement starts with not just listening but actual research. It’s about learning what people are talking about, who’s leading the conversation and answering most questions (HubSpot)

So you need to actually sit down and find those people who are tweeting the talk, and walking the walk (virtually across a number of platforms).

Using Buzzsumo

In this post, I’ll  introduce BuzzSumo, the online platform that helps you to create an amplify your content, and find the most shared content & influencers. I’ll focus on two particular features of BuzzSumo that can really help you to find those top social media influencers: content research and influencer research.

The content research tool

So, you’ve found the keyword that you think you want to focus on, or perhaps you want to do some research and see what your competition looks like. Using BuzzSumo with the content research tool you can search particular words and phrases to see which sites are ranking highest, how many sharers there are (across social platform) and when posts were posted.

So I’m going to use ‘Inbound Marketing’ for this example. We can see that HubSpot, EventBrite and TechCrunch articles are the most valuable and interesting for those interested in Inbound Marketing. You can also narrow this down based on date, content type, country, etc.

So now you know what the competition looks like, great! But you still need to figure out who you want to read your content, and who are those top social media influencers you want promoting it to their tens-of-thousands of followers.

The influencer research tool

The next major feature of BuzzSumo is the influencer research tool. Using this tool, searching your keyword, you can find those talking about and sharing content related to the keyword based on their page and domain authority, followers, and Twitter ratio.

Going back to my example of Inbound Marketing as the keyword, we can see the top people talking about inbound marketing, their band of merry followers, and social media stats. Now I’ve got an even better idea of the people we want sharing our content. BuzzSumo allows you to create lists, so you can easily find out what your top social media influencers are talking about.

Keeping up with the Conversation

Now you’ve got your list of top social media influencers, but it doesn’t stop there. Start using this list to build interactions with the right people. Make use of the outreach list, and keep up with the conversation and see what your influencers are talking about. Begin engaging with them:

  • Respond to their questions
  • Share popular conversations
  • Retweet and react to their latest posts
  • Ask them questions
  • Share your content directly with them

By engaging with those influencers, by answering their questions and contributing to discussions, you begin to build a foundation for a virtual relationship with them. This is the perfect means to get you ‘on their radar’ – making them far more likely to share your content with their thousands of followers. And those followers are more inclined to pay closer attention to the content they broadcast – getting your brand in the eyes of an exponentially larger audience.

However, not all social media users are equal. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to have a few hundred views of your blog a day, and it’s great if Joe Bloggs with his 32 followers shares your article. But…it’s not really what you’re looking for, is it? When you’ve spent hours editing your blog to perfection and cutting out the unnecessary jargon, you want it to get maximum exposure. So how do you do this? How do you go about attracting those big shares, how do you get your content to go ‘viral’?