It’s Award Season! Why Winning a Markie Is Important

It’s Award Season! Why Winning a Markie Is Important

As the deadline approaches for 2016 Markie award submissions (Feb 5), I thought it would be a good time to reflect upon why winning a Markie is so important. Markie awards are presented by Oracle to celebrate and recognize excellence in marketing. The winner in each category receives a beautiful statue to announce to the world what they’ve accomplished. I was honored with the 2012 Markie for Best Customer Lifecycle Program, so I have firsthand knowledge of the quality and effort necessary to win an award, and the ensuing benefits. The Markie-winning customer lifecycle program that I built for SurePayroll in 2012 was a three-pronged approach that focused on onboarding, retention and referrals. First, we built a welcome video and onboarding document sent out to all new customers when they were ready to enter their first payroll. These emails were responsible for driving down the number of customer service inquiry calls, resulting in a cost savings to the company. Next we...
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7 Email Preview Text Mistakes That You’ve Likely Made and How You Can Fix Them

7 Email Preview Text Mistakes That You’ve Likely Made and How You Can Fix Them

What is preview text? Preview text is the copy that follows the subject line in many email client inboxes, both mobile and desktop. It’s another tool for recipients to screen their emails and determine which are worthy of an open. Preview text also provides savvy email marketers an opportunity to stand out in the inbox, engage the recipient, and build brand awareness even if they don’t open. But if you don’t control your preview text, it may harm your open rates. Preview text mistakes The email client pulls preview text from the initial copy you have in your email. So what’s the leading copy in your email? 1. It may be your preheader text. My grant approver and I are beyond a first name basis. 2. Perhaps it’s alt text for a logo. (P.S. If your alt text aligns with your message, this could be less of an issue.) Header cheese?! Blech. 3. Or maybe it’s informational text buried under an image-heavy email: An address. Booooooring. Bored. 4. Are you...
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How to Use Customer Testimonials and Social Proofs in Email

How to Use Customer Testimonials and Social Proofs in Email

We received an interesting email the other day from Z Gallerie, a home décor and furniture retailer. It caught our eye because of the inclusion of several variations on the “customer testimonial” tactic. Though it does contain straight quotes, they appear to be pulled from Twitter and what looks like product reviews (either on Z Gallerie’s website or some other online forum. It’s not exactly clear, but some sources appear as screen-names). Some quotes are aspirational (“I wish my house would look like a @ZGallerie ad,” someone tweeted), but others are clearly from people who have bought and are enjoying their purchase from Z Gallerie. But the really innovative move here is the use of customer-posted images of Z Gallerie products harvested from Instagram as social proof (ostensibly images of the product as it’s being used in the buyer’s home). There is probably no measure of customer satisfaction greater than the customer telling all of his/her friends about it—especially when such proselytizing occurs...
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