Category: SendPulse

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 1

While creating your email copy, you might consider email background images an element of little importance, but you’d better not. In email marketing reality, background images matter a lot for email readability and overall layout success. In this article, we’ll dwell on the tricks of creating background images and try to prove why you should actually add them.

What is an email background image?

A background image is an image which is placed in the background of an email or its element. Such images are usually complementary to other content in the email, which means you can layer additional images, text, and calls-to-action on them.

Take a look at how an email with a background image looks:

An email with a background image
An email with a background image

And here’s the same email without a background image, but with a background color only.

An email without a background image
An email without a background image

Some email marketers may use a wholesome image which already contains text and pics for an email template. Yet if the recipient’s email client blocks images, such an email won’t be displayed, so the users won’t see your message at all. Meanwhile, adding a background image, you may be sure your message will be visible even if the background image gets blocked.

However, adding a background image to your email copy might also turn out to be a pain in the neck — according to Litmus, not all email clients support background images.

Background image support in email clients
Background image support in email clients. Source: Litmus

What if using background images in email is important for your campaign? We’ve gathered some essentials for you to consider while constructing a template with a background image.

How to apply background images in email

We recommend sticking to the following rules to play a safe background image game.

Follow design rules

Following some design standards is paramount for choosing a background image. You need to plan the overall look of your template — its content, fonts, text size, CTA’s location — and see whether they correlate with the background image you’ve chosen.

  • Size: choose an image > 600px high and >1200 px wide. This way, the actual image size won’t exceed the sizes of the user’s browser and your template.
  • Location: place the background image in the center of the template.
  • Fonts: make sure you use readable fonts that don’t get lost among other background images.
  • Colors: choose three main colors in your background image and make sure they play together with the rest of the template pallette.
  • Content keep in mind the 40 to 60 image-to-text ratio. In case your background is too showy, add minimum text or vice versa.

Take a look at Urban Decay’s email. The company has chosen cool background, so they kept the rest of their design in a minimalistic way. The colors of the preheader, the CTA, and the fonts all play together with the background image to make the whole email look balanced and legible.

Email with a background image from Urban Decay
Email with a background image from Urban Decay

Set fallback colors

Another precaution is choosing a background color. In cases when the background image fails to display, a default color will display. While creating your template, set a backup color in the settings so that it correlates with the overall color pallette of your email.

Add ALT text

As we’ve mentioned above, some web clients block background images by default. Be forearmed: make sure you have a plan B for such cases. Provide an ALT text in the settings of the image so that the users will still see what you’ve sent them.

To be on the safe side, you need to include the background color attribute or background color property to contrast the HTML content and make sure your message is readable.

How to set a background image in SendPulse

SendPulse allows you to add a background image to your email template. First of all, go to the Email Templates menu in your SendPulse account and click “Add a template.”

Adding a template in SendPulse
Adding a template in SendPulse

Then choose a way to create your template — in Layout Template Editor, in HTML Editor, or through Template import. To add a background image to a premade template, choose the first option and then any of the appealing template options in the drop-down menu.

Ways to create an email template in SendPulse

Fill in your template with the necessary content, preview and send a test email before you launch your campaign.

Adding a background image to the template

Stick to all design requirements we’ve mentioned before and remember to indicate the background color in case the actual image gets blocked by the email client.

In the drag-and-drop email editor, use a color picker tool to choose the color which matches your original background image and the email in general.

Adding a background color to the email in the SendPulse email editor
Adding a background color to the email in the SendPulse email editor

Now that you’re packed with some bulletproof tips on how to create an email template with a no-fail background image, namely choosing the right image size, email fonts, and colors, including an alternative text and the plan-B background color, do not hesitate to rely on SendPulse to deliver your emails at ease!

The post Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

SEO Strategy to Bring Your Site to the Top of the Search

SEO Strategy to Bring Your Site to the Top of the Search

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 2

In digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization is marketers’ basic tool to attract customers to their business through online platforms. In this article, we’ll look into the key aspects of a winning SEO strategy, which will fuel up your digital marketing plan.

What is SEO strategy?

SEO strategy is a process of arranging the content in a way that allows the search engines to read your website and index your content. However, if you aim at building a fruitful SEO strategy, you need to understand the main types of SEO and the ways of using all of them together to show up in search.

So the basic SEO types include

  • On-page SEO — it presupposes keyword research, creating content based on the hot keywords, and keyword optimization by using popular keywords in the right places on your website.
  • Technical SEO — these are strategies to improve the non-content elements of your website like its readability, site speed, mobile responsiveness, site architecture, indexing, data structure, etc.
  • Off-site SEO — these are the backlinks which point to your site from other sources. Creating a high-quality backlink means having your website recommended by relevant and authoritative sources.

According to the research by Goodfirms, SEO is an irreplaceable tool inbound marketers use while promoting their content on the internet.

Top inbound marketing priority for businesses

Top inbound marketing priority for businesses
Source: Goodfirms

Since growing organic traffic is a part of an SEO routine, let’s cut to the chase and unravel the main principles of a proper SEO strategy.

The main principles of a proper SEO strategy

Make a list of topics

We can bet the first thing you were planning to do while elaborating your SEO strategy was to look for relevant keywords. However, while keywords are a paramount part of your SEO, you should start with making a list of topics to cover.

Start off by making a list of the terms which are connected with your vertical and figure out their search volume. Then pick about 15 most relevant keywords your audience looks for and arrange them in the order of their importance for your business. Include the chosen keywords into the relevant topics to create a content plan for your blog.

Develop your blog

Setting up a blog is a key way to use keywords and drive visitors to your website as it allows you to create another webpage, fill it with the content that will rank in search engines and bring traffic to your website. While deciding on your blog strategy, think of the following things:

  • Choose the right keywords — create relevant content based on relevant keywords. Don’t overdo the number of keywords and use long-tail keywords — like “buy red casual dress” — no more than three or four times throughout your page.
  • Link to a proper landing page — make sure the articles link to the promotional page of your website that will relate to the topic of your article.
  • Update your blog regularly — schedule your posts and update your blog at least once or twice a week to increase your page authority.

Unlike two previous on-site SEO tactics, link-building is off-page and it means a process of getting external sites to link back to your website. Link-building helps to drive referral traffic to your website and thus elevate its authority.

Although organic link-building routine is a daunting and time-consuming process, it’s a principal step for creating a successful SEO strategy. A proper link-building plan should include the following steps:

  • Content creation and promotion — create relevant and useful content the users will want to share and refer to later.
  • Mentions and reviews — offer people who have a strong impact on your industry to test, review, and mention your product.
  • Partner links — ask relevant and industry-related sites to link to your website or exchange links with them.

Measure your efforts

So how will you see whether your SEO activity is worth the effort? Here are the KPIs you have to track in your SEO activity.

Organic search

Organic search indicates the number of visits through search engine results and not through ads. When you create the content which includes hot keywords, you are more likely to pop in search engine results pages, commonly abbreviated as SERPs.

To check your organic search success, go to your Google Analytics account linked to your website.

Organic search rankings from Google Analytics
Organic search rankings from Google Analytics

Keyword rankings

This metric shows whether your website ranks in SERPs well or poorly for a certain search term. As a rule, pages with low keyword difficulty can elevate your website to the first page in search results.

The example below displays the performance of the top keywords that brought visitors to the website: the number of clicks on the website URLs, the number of times any URL from the website appeared in the search results, the CTR, and the average ranking of the website URL.

Keyword rankings report from Google Analytics
Keyword rankings report from Google Analytics

Conversion rate from organic search traffic

This KPI shows the number of website visitors who have converted into a buyer or a lead, if you have any conversions at all. A purchase isn’t the only goal for your conversion rate — you might want users to register at your website, subscribe to your newsletters, or perform smaller actions on your site called microconversions.

Below you can see a report which shows the organic traffic along with conversions coming from it for a particular website.

Conversions from organic traffic in Google
Conversions from organic traffic in Google Analytics

However, if taking the above-mentioned SEO steps seems not so easy, do not hesitate to use the following tools to help you out.

Useful SEO tools

Check out four tools to use for your SEO routine, considering their features and pricing, and the ways how you can benefit from them.

Ahrefs

Pricing: $99 for Lite plan, $179 for Standard plan, $399 for Advanced plan, $999 for Agency plan.

Features: With Ahrefs, you can analyze and improve your SEO and marketing activity. Use this platform to look for relevant content for your pages by finding the top keywords your competitors use. You can explore how your competitors create their link-building strategies. Also you can study the keyword ranking and find out the difficulty of a particular keyword. This way, you’ll see how many websites use it and whether you’ll be able to rank high in search engines by using it.

The example below shows that the keyword “email marketing”, along with the high search volume, has an extremely high difficulty, which makes it hard to rank successfully in search engines.

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 3
Keywords explorer in Ahrefs

Google Data Studio

Pricing: completely free.

Features: Google Data Studio allows you to access any data sources you are using and transform this data into reports. For example, you can integrate Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics into one visual report. The service provides a visual editor and the visualisation library, so you can edit and organise your data easily.

Moreover, there’s a range of reusable templates and custom design options to create your own design of the work panel. You can also choose from a number of dynamic date options and find a report within “Last 7 Days”, “This Month”, or choose the date manually.

Below you can see a report on the search traffic based on the data of Google Search Console.

Example of Google Data Studio report
Example of Google Data Studio report

Google Analytics

Pricing: completely free.

Features: Google Analytics provides a wide range of reports like the number of people who visit your website, their location, the pages they visit, the period of their stay at your website, and actually the keywords which bring visitors to your website. You can also use Google Analytics to see which other websites referred to yours and have sent traffic to you.

Among all, Google Analytics allows you to create custom dashboards with the most important analytics data and download it in the PDF and CSV formats.

The following report, for example, shows how many users are on the website at a particular time and which source they came from.

Real-time report in Google Analytics
Real-time report in Google Analytics

Google Search Console

Pricing: completely free.

Features: Google Search Console is a web service which allows website owners to check their indexing status in search engines and improve the visibility of their websites. With this tool you can get a list of both internal and external pages that connect to your website, check your sitemap for errors, set and track your crawl rate or set a preferred domain name.

This service also provides reports on the latest and most accurate statistics, individual page count, image click count, and others.

For instance, here’s a report from Google Search Console showing general website performance for a period of one year.

Google-search-console
Example of Search Performance report. Source: Google

Wrapping up

Let’s sum up the main steps to take while elaborating your SEO strategy:

  • Make a list of topics — determine key topics connected with your business;
  • Develop your blog — run a blog to create more pages to drive traffic to your website;
  • Think of link-building — create backlinks that point to your website to promote your brand and create shareable content;
  • Track your SEO efforts — spot the most important SEO metrics to see whether your SEO activity is successful;
  • Choose relevant SEO tools — find tools to help you with your SEO activity.

We hope these tips will become the backbone for your more advanced SEO plan. And while you are preparing your SEO strategy, remember to send relevant messages to your leads using all possible channels: email, SMS, chatbots, web push. In SendPulse, all of these channels are combined on one platform!

The post SEO Strategy to Bring Your Site to the Top of the Search appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

The Supreme Guide to Real Estate Email Marketing

The Supreme Guide to Real Estate Email Marketing

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 4

Thinking that real estate business spins solely around in-person meetings is a firmly established stereotype. In the era when 99% of users check their emails every day, communicating with your customers through emails isn’t as crazy as it seems.

Since we’ve already dwelled on how to create a real estate chatbot, now it’s high time we unraveled the backbone of real estate email marketing.

Why use email marketing for real estate

First of all, let’s look at the reasons why you should rely on email marketing in your real estate business. As a real estate agent, email marketing will help you to:

  • collect database — use website subscription forms or offer special perks in return for users’ address to gather interested leads;
  • show expertise — update your subscribers in digests with latest trends in your vertical or your new blog posts;
  • grow sales — since 93% of users prefer to communicate through email, deals stocked there can find the buyer faster;
  • automate your routine — email marketing provides you with an option to set up an email series triggered by users’ specific actions such as registering at your website, looking through your real estate listings, asking for the house price, or prenoting a house tour;
  • build trustful relationships with customers — segment your audience and send them personalized offers to show you care about each subscriber, which will definitely contribute to users’ loyalty towards your business.

But what can you do to generate more leads and help people sell or buy houses? Build a solid real estate email marketing strategy, of course.

Five steps to a successful real estate email marketing strategy

Let’s take a closer look at some linchpin steps of building a real estate email marketing strategy that works for your business.

Create a landing page

Landing page is a single page on your website that contains property listings, home search and home valuation tools, as well as other targeted information. Typically, users come to such landing pages from ads on Facebook, Pinterest, or Google. And your goal as a real estate marketer is to provide these users with free, valuable, and targeted content in exchange for their contact information.

To create an effective landing page that will help you generate real estate leads, make sure you stick to the following must-haves:

  1. Think through the structure of the page. Remember to include a header and a footer with all necessary information, like your contacts, your team, services, FAQs, and privacy policy.
  2. Optimize your call to action. This isn’t just another button on your website; it has to motivate your website visitors to take the desired action, for example, sign up for emails or prenote a home tour.
  3. Add a support window. Thus users will be able to contact you in a faster and easier way whenever they have any questions.
  4. Think of mobile users. Since 82% of users visit websites from their mobile devices, create a responsive design for your landing page.

Earn email addresses for your mailing list

Once your landing page is ready, you need to think through the fair means of collecting your database. One of them is embedding sign-up forms to your web page. In SendPulse subscription form builder, you can create such forms.

Pop-up form created with SendPulse
Pop-up form created with SendPulse

However, putting a subscription form at the forefront of your website isn’t the only way to gather subscribers. You can use any kind of offline events to populate your database — conferences, seminars, or themed meetups — where you’ll be able to offer prospects a freebie for joining your mailing list, for example.

Yet no matter which way you use to collect the subscribers, make sure you follow the permission-based marketing rules and send a follow-up email that reassures the user’s explicit permission to receive future emails from you.

Segment your audience

With the database on your hands, segment your audience according to the subscribers’ preferences, budget, location, or family size. For example, if you have a segment of subscribers with kids, you’ll be able to come up with property options near schools or kindergartens. And if subscribers have indicated their location, you can offer them available options nearby.

Decide on the emails to send

Now it’s time to contact the database you’ve prepared. So, you need to think through the email campaigns you can send. For example, you can email your subscribers with

  • targeted campaigns if you need to hit a corresponding segment with a certain offer;
  • drip campaigns to keep them updated about the new property in the neighborhood, important news, or interesting events;
  • open-house campaigns to encourage your prospects to visit an open house and chat with you about this property.
  • follow-up campaigns after certain events to warm up interested users;
  • referral campaigns to keep in touch with your customers after a successful deal, asking for a review.

And of course any email you send needs to be opened first, so entitling it with a boring subject line won’t do any good. Besides, you should avoid spammy words and caps lock; instead, insert an emoji or try Unicode to stand out in the users’ inboxes.

Real estate email subject lines with different approaches
Real estate email subject lines with different approaches

Automate your campaign

This is a crucial step of your real estate marketing strategy as it can help you arrange a series of emails that will be automatically sent in response to users’ actions.

Try SendPulse Automation 360 to employ the following trigger scenarios:

  • follow-up series after property viewing to push a prospect forward in their real estate journey;
  • re-engagement series to get inactive subscribers back on track;
  • abandoned browse emails to schedule a property tour, browsed by the user earlier;
  • geo-targeted emails based on the specific location to inform a customer about the property located in the area they are interested in.

Now it’s time we took a tour through some effective email ideas for your real estate business.

Real estate email ideas for your inspiration

Warm welcome for new subscribers

Introduce yourself and thank a subscriber for joining your mailing list. Tell them what to expect from your emails and how often they will hear from you. You can also guide your subscribers through your service, introduce your agents, and show how to get started.

Have a look at the welcome email Compass send to their new audience. The company provide all necessary information for subscribers to start using their service: how to search for the appealing spots, how to choose an agent, and how to figure out which house will be the perfect option for the users.

Welcome email from Compass
Welcome email from Compass

Personalized reminders

Targeted emails are aimed at a particular segment of your audience defined either by their location, purchase history, or income. Such emails help to boost your open rates due to a high level of personalization and create a stronger bond with your subscribers.

Take a look at the real estate email example based on the user’s browsing history. Zillow built it based on user’s previous searches and locations they had saved.

Targeted email from Zillow
Targeted email from Zillow. Source: Really Good Emails

Emails with useful tips

Zillow also provided some real estate value — the company assists in calculating the affordability of the property by offering users to estimate the property’s value on their service.

Email with tips from Zillow
Email with tips from Zillow. Source: Really Good Emails

Regular digests

Help your subscribers and real estate colleagues to stay in the know of the latest trends in the real estate field with regular digests. Include interviews with the experts, provide the news, or share popular blog posts.

Premier Agent, for instance, is nailing the whole digest thing in the following campaign. The email shares useful tips for real estate agents, interviews with experts, and invitations to the offline and online events.

Digest from Premier Agent
Digest from Premier Agent. Source: Really Good Emails

Milestone emails

Buying or selling property is not the only reason to congratulate your subscribers. Sending milestone triggered emails is a nice chance to connect with your subscribers by celebrating their contributions to your service or remind them of their communication anniversaries.

Premier Agent, for example, congratulate their subscribed real estate agent on their 50th review and provide useful resources on how to improve further reviews.

Milestone email from Premier Agent
Milestone email from Premier Agent. Source: Really Good Emails

Bottom line

Real estate email marketing is all about sending valuable campaigns to engage the prospectives with appealing bargains and help your existing customers progress in the sales funnel. So as a real estate marketer, you’d better rely on emails and create the campaigns that would do both — educate your leads and show your expertise, of course. Try SendPulse to distribute your real estate content and grow your sales!

The post The Supreme Guide to Real Estate Email Marketing appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

The Supreme Guide to Real Estate Email Marketing

The Supreme Guide to Real Estate Email Marketing

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 5

Thinking that real estate business spins solely around in-person meetings is a firmly established stereotype. In the era when 99% of users check their emails every day, communicating with your customers through emails isn’t as crazy as it seems.

Since we’ve already dwelled on how to create a real estate chatbot, now it’s high time we unraveled the backbone of real estate email marketing.

Why use email marketing for real estate

First of all, let’s look at the reasons why you should rely on email marketing in your real estate business. As a real estate agent, email marketing will help you to:

  • collect database — use website subscription forms or offer special perks in return for users’ address to gather interested leads;
  • show expertise — update your subscribers in digests with latest trends in your vertical or your new blog posts;
  • grow sales — since 93% of users prefer to communicate through email, deals stocked there can find the buyer faster;
  • automate your routine — email marketing provides you with an option to set up an email series triggered by users’ specific actions such as registering at your website, looking through your real estate listings, asking for the house price, or prenoting a house tour;
  • build trustful relationships with customers — segment your audience and send them personalized offers to show you care about each subscriber, which will definitely contribute to users’ loyalty towards your business.

But what can you do to generate more leads and help people sell or buy houses? Build a solid real estate email marketing strategy, of course.

Five steps to a successful real estate email marketing strategy

Let’s take a closer look at some linchpin steps of building a real estate email marketing strategy that works for your business.

Create a landing page

Landing page is a single page on your website that contains property listings, home search and home valuation tools, as well as other targeted information. Typically, users come to such landing pages from ads on Facebook, Pinterest, or Google. And your goal as a real estate marketer is to provide these users with free, valuable, and targeted content in exchange for their contact information.

To create an effective landing page that will help you generate real estate leads, make sure you stick to the following must-haves:

  1. Think through the structure of the page. Remember to include a header and a footer with all necessary information, like your contacts, your team, services, FAQs, and privacy policy.
  2. Optimize your call to action. This isn’t just another button on your website; it has to motivate your website visitors to take the desired action, for example, sign up for emails or prenote a home tour.
  3. Add a support window. Thus users will be able to contact you in a faster and easier way whenever they have any questions.
  4. Think of mobile users. Since 82% of users visit websites from their mobile devices, create a responsive design for your landing page.

Earn email addresses for your mailing list

Once your landing page is ready, you need to think through the fair means of collecting your database. One of them is embedding sign-up forms to your web page. In SendPulse subscription form builder, you can create such forms.

Pop-up form created with SendPulse
Pop-up form created with SendPulse

However, putting a subscription form at the forefront of your website isn’t the only way to gather subscribers. You can use any kind of offline events to populate your database — conferences, seminars, or themed meetups — where you’ll be able to offer prospects a freebie for joining your mailing list, for example.

Yet no matter which way you use to collect the subscribers, make sure you follow the permission-based marketing rules and send a follow-up email that reassures the user’s explicit permission to receive future emails from you.

Segment your audience

With the database on your hands, segment your audience according to the subscribers’ preferences, budget, location, or family size. For example, if you have a segment of subscribers with kids, you’ll be able to come up with property options near schools or kindergartens. And if subscribers have indicated their location, you can offer them available options nearby.

Decide on the emails to send

Now it’s time to contact the database you’ve prepared. So, you need to think through the email campaigns you can send. For example, you can email your subscribers with

  • targeted campaigns if you need to hit a corresponding segment with a certain offer;
  • drip campaigns to keep them updated about the new property in the neighborhood, important news, or interesting events;
  • open-house campaigns to encourage your prospects to visit an open house and chat with you about this property.
  • follow-up campaigns after certain events to warm up interested users;
  • referral campaigns to keep in touch with your customers after a successful deal, asking for a review.

And of course any email you send needs to be opened first, so entitling it with a boring subject line won’t do any good. Besides, you should avoid spammy words and caps lock; instead, insert an emoji or try Unicode to stand out in the users’ inboxes.

Real estate email subject lines with different approaches
Real estate email subject lines with different approaches

Automate your campaign

This is a crucial step of your real estate marketing strategy as it can help you arrange a series of emails that will be automatically sent in response to users’ actions.

Try SendPulse Automation 360 to employ the following trigger scenarios:

  • follow-up series after property viewing to push a prospect forward in their real estate journey;
  • re-engagement series to get inactive subscribers back on track;
  • abandoned browse emails to schedule a property tour, browsed by the user earlier;
  • geo-targeted emails based on the specific location to inform a customer about the property located in the area they are interested in.

Now it’s time we took a tour through some effective email ideas for your real estate business.

Real estate email ideas for your inspiration

Warm welcome for new subscribers

Introduce yourself and thank a subscriber for joining your mailing list. Tell them what to expect from your emails and how often they will hear from you. You can also guide your subscribers through your service, introduce your agents, and show how to get started.

Have a look at the welcome email Compass send to their new audience. The company provide all necessary information for subscribers to start using their service: how to search for the appealing spots, how to choose an agent, and how to figure out which house will be the perfect option for the users.

Welcome email from Compass
Welcome email from Compass

Personalized reminders

Targeted emails are aimed at a particular segment of your audience defined either by their location, purchase history, or income. Such emails help to boost your open rates due to a high level of personalization and create a stronger bond with your subscribers.

Take a look at the real estate email example based on the user’s browsing history. Zillow built it based on user’s previous searches and locations they had saved.

Targeted email from Zillow
Targeted email from Zillow. Source: Really Good Emails

Emails with useful tips

Zillow also provided some real estate value — the company assists in calculating the affordability of the property by offering users to estimate the property’s value on their service.

Email with tips from Zillow
Email with tips from Zillow. Source: Really Good Emails

Regular digests

Help your subscribers and real estate colleagues to stay in the know of the latest trends in the real estate field with regular digests. Include interviews with the experts, provide the news, or share popular blog posts.

Premier Agent, for instance, is nailing the whole digest thing in the following campaign. The email shares useful tips for real estate agents, interviews with experts, and invitations to the offline and online events.

Digest from Premier Agent
Digest from Premier Agent. Source: Really Good Emails

Milestone emails

Buying or selling property is not the only reason to congratulate your subscribers. Sending milestone triggered emails is a nice chance to connect with your subscribers by celebrating their contributions to your service or remind them of their communication anniversaries.

Premier Agent, for example, congratulate their subscribed real estate agent on their 50th review and provide useful resources on how to improve further reviews.

Milestone email from Premier Agent
Milestone email from Premier Agent. Source: Really Good Emails

Bottom line

Real estate email marketing is all about sending valuable campaigns to engage the prospectives with appealing bargains and help your existing customers progress in the sales funnel. So as a real estate marketer, you’d better rely on emails and create the campaigns that would do both — educate your leads and show your expertise, of course. Try SendPulse to distribute your real estate content and grow your sales!

The post The Supreme Guide to Real Estate Email Marketing appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

Email Marketing Calendar: Your November Through April Plan

Email Marketing Calendar: Your November Through April Plan

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 6

Long time no see! Half a year ago we created a list of holidays to complement your email marketing calendar from October till May. Since we’ve already covered how to construct such a calendar in our previous blog post, this time we’ll jump to from-November-to-April newshooks straight away, topping them with examples from various brands.

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in November

05.11 Bonfire Night
11.11 Singles’ Day
23.11 Espresso Day
28.11 Thanksgiving Day

In case you think Black Friday is the only way to engage your audience into purchasing your goods, take a look at how various brands prove you wrong.

Check out an email from Urban Decay which they dedicated to Singles’ Day. The company offered to celebrate rather than feel blue and came up with an item to pair with the users’ order.

An email dedicated to Singles’ Day from Urban Decay
An email dedicated to Singles’ Day from Urban Decay

Yet when it comes to November email ideas, Thanksgiving has no equals among other holidays. This is the best time to hang out with your relatives, eat, relax, and shop. For example, Thrillist send an ultimate email guide on how to celebrate Thanksgiving so that you can really enjoy the holiday — recommending what to cook, eat, and watch.

An email dedicated to Thanksgiving from Thrillist
An email dedicated to Thanksgiving from Thrillist

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in December

12.02 Cyber Monday
12.03 Giving Tuesday
12.14 National Free Shipping Day
12.25 Christmas

We bet everyone’s inbox is overfilled with Christmas emails during this hot shopping time, so you’d better take a look at other holiday emails we got from brands in December.

Valfre used Cyber Monday as a reason to offer shopping to their subscribers. They offered bonny discounts and specified it was only a one-day perk, suggesting the users should hurry up with their orders.

An email dedicated to Cyber Monday from Valfre
An email dedicated to Cyber Monday from Valfre

And J.Crew dedicated their campaign to Giving Tuesday — the Tuesday that usually follows the Thanksgiving week. Since the holiday is all about charity, the company invited their subscribers to shop from them and thus do a good deed as all earnings would be donated to charity.

An email dedicated to Giving Tuesday from J.Crew
An email dedicated to Giving Tuesday from J.Crew

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in January

01.01 New Year’s Day and National Hangover Day
01.13 Make Your Dream Come True Day
01.21 Hug Day
01.23 Pie Day

This is how Spirit celebrated National Hug Day. The company used a creative marketing approach by transforming the word “hugs” into an acronym and sent a promo code subscribers may use while booking the deals from the brand.

An email dedicated to Hugs Day from Spirit
An email dedicated to Hugs Day from Spirit

Mud Pie, in their turn, knitted the Pie Day to their name and pitched a limited free shipping offer for the orders together with a holiday-based recipe.

An email dedicated to Pie Day from Mud Pie
An email dedicated to Pie Day from Mud Pie

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in February

02.02 Groundhog Day
02.13 Galentine’s Day
02.17 Random Act of Kindness Day
02.22 National Margarita Day

When you think of February, Valentine’s Day is what typically pops in mind, yet, luckily, some brands think otherwise.

For example, MAC dedicated an email to Groundhog Day — an annual tradition to watch a groundhog predict the season change based on whether it sees its shadow or not. So the company bundled the holiday and make-up shadows in their themed campaign. They started with the subject line “Discover YOUR Shadow on Groundhog Day!” and offered to pick the most appealing color shadow in the email.

An email dedicated to Groundhog Day from MAC
An email dedicated to Groundhog Day from MAC

Dorothy Perkins, in their turn, congratulated their subscribers on Galentine’s Day — a holiday to celebrate your lady friends — by offering a range of outfit options for a night out.

An email dedicated to Galentine’s Day from Dorothy Perkins
An email dedicated to Galentine’s Day from Dorothy Perkins

And Crabtree & Evelyn chose Random Act of Kindness Day as a reason to email their audience. The company offered a free gift to any purchase and also provided a list of small kindness gestures users can do without paying a single penny.

An email dedicated to Random Act of Kindness Day from Crabtree & Evelyn
An email dedicated to Random Act of Kindness Day from Crabtree & Evelyn

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in March

03.08 Women’s Day
03.14 National Pi Day
03.17 St. Patrick’s Day
03.20 International Day of Happiness

National Geographic dedicated their March campaign to the International Women’s Day. In the email, they honored the women who greatly contributed to National Geographic expeditions, explorations, and projects.

An email dedicated to Women’s Day from National Geographic
An email dedicated to Women’s Day from National Geographic

Forever 21 played with the 3.14 number on the corresponding Pi Day. They offered 314 styles for $3.14 and provided a themed free gift promo code for the specified order total.

An email dedicated to Pi Day from Forever 21
An email dedicated to Pi Day from Forever 21

By the way, it’s pretty sensible not to focus just on public and national holidays alone. You can always choose a birthday — subscriber’s, your company’s, or a celebrity’s — as a reason to email your database. This is what Live Love Polish did in their email — the brand dedicated a campaign to Van Gogh’s birthday and offered a range of nail designs inspired by the painter’s works.

An email dedicated to Van Gogh’s birthday from Live Love Polish
An email dedicated to Van Gogh’s birthday from Live Love Polish

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in April

04.01 April Fool’s Day
04.10 Siblings day
04.11 Pet Day
04.22 Earth Day

April Fool’s Day is a simple yet dope reason to email your customers. Catch their eyes with a prominent subject line so they would proceed to your email.

This is what Nic+Zoe did in their campaign. The company sent an email with the subject line “Seriously…not fooling around” and offered free shipping to all orders only on that day.

An email dedicated to April Fool’s Day from Nic+Zoe
An email dedicated to April Fool’s Day from Nic+Zoe

SkinCeuticals, in their turn, celebrated Siblings Day by coming up with a selection of alike skincare products in their April campaign.

An email dedicated to Siblings Day
An email dedicated to Siblings Day

And finally, Petco celebrated subscribers’ pet friends in a themed email and offered users follow-up links to buy gifts for the four-legged loved ones.

An email dedicated to Pet’s Day from Petco
An email dedicated to Pet’s Day from Petco

So here we are, having traveled right around the year in two posts and gathered some cool newshooks to serve your email marketing all 12 months long. Have we missed any worthwhile holidays out? Leave your ideas below and remember to check out SendPulse template library to find or create a template for your very special campaign!

The post Email Marketing Calendar: Your November Through April Plan appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

Email Marketing Calendar: Your November Through April Plan

Email Marketing Calendar: Your November Through April Plan

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 7

Long time no see! Half a year ago we created a list of holidays to complement your email marketing calendar from October till May. Since we’ve already covered how to construct such a calendar in our previous blog post, this time we’ll jump to from-November-to-April newshooks straight away, topping them with examples from various brands.

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in November

05.11 Bonfire Night
11.11 Singles’ Day
23.11 Espresso Day
28.11 Thanksgiving Day

In case you think Black Friday is the only way to engage your audience into purchasing your goods, take a look at how various brands prove you wrong.

Check out an email from Urban Decay which they dedicated to Singles’ Day. The company offered to celebrate rather than feel blue and came up with an item to pair with the users’ order.

An email dedicated to Singles’ Day from Urban Decay
An email dedicated to Singles’ Day from Urban Decay

Yet when it comes to November email ideas, Thanksgiving has no equals among other holidays. This is the best time to hang out with your relatives, eat, relax, and shop. For example, Thrillist send an ultimate email guide on how to celebrate Thanksgiving so that you can really enjoy the holiday — recommending what to cook, eat, and watch.

An email dedicated to Thanksgiving from Thrillist
An email dedicated to Thanksgiving from Thrillist

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in December

12.02 Cyber Monday
12.03 Giving Tuesday
12.14 National Free Shipping Day
12.25 Christmas

We bet everyone’s inbox is overfilled with Christmas emails during this hot shopping time, so you’d better take a look at other holiday emails we got from brands in December.

Valfre used Cyber Monday as a reason to offer shopping to their subscribers. They offered bonny discounts and specified it was only a one-day perk, suggesting the users should hurry up with their orders.

An email dedicated to Cyber Monday from Valfre
An email dedicated to Cyber Monday from Valfre

And J.Crew dedicated their campaign to Giving Tuesday — the Tuesday that usually follows the Thanksgiving week. Since the holiday is all about charity, the company invited their subscribers to shop from them and thus do a good deed as all earnings would be donated to charity.

An email dedicated to Giving Tuesday from J.Crew
An email dedicated to Giving Tuesday from J.Crew

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in January

01.01 New Year’s Day and National Hangover Day
01.13 Make Your Dream Come True Day
01.21 Hug Day
01.23 Pie Day

This is how Spirit celebrated National Hug Day. The company used a creative marketing approach by transforming the word “hugs” into an acronym and sent a promo code subscribers may use while booking the deals from the brand.

An email dedicated to Hugs Day from Spirit
An email dedicated to Hugs Day from Spirit

Mud Pie, in their turn, knitted the Pie Day to their name and pitched a limited free shipping offer for the orders together with a holiday-based recipe.

An email dedicated to Pie Day from Mud Pie
An email dedicated to Pie Day from Mud Pie

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in February

02.02 Groundhog Day
02.13 Galentine’s Day
02.17 Random Act of Kindness Day
02.22 National Margarita Day

When you think of February, Valentine’s Day is what typically pops in mind, yet, luckily, some brands think otherwise.

For example, MAC dedicated an email to Groundhog Day — an annual tradition to watch a groundhog predict the season change based on whether it sees its shadow or not. So the company bundled the holiday and make-up shadows in their themed campaign. They started with the subject line “Discover YOUR Shadow on Groundhog Day!” and offered to pick the most appealing color shadow in the email.

An email dedicated to Groundhog Day from MAC
An email dedicated to Groundhog Day from MAC

Dorothy Perkins, in their turn, congratulated their subscribers on Galentine’s Day — a holiday to celebrate your lady friends — by offering a range of outfit options for a night out.

An email dedicated to Galentine’s Day from Dorothy Perkins
An email dedicated to Galentine’s Day from Dorothy Perkins

And Crabtree & Evelyn chose Random Act of Kindness Day as a reason to email their audience. The company offered a free gift to any purchase and also provided a list of small kindness gestures users can do without paying a single penny.

An email dedicated to Random Act of Kindness Day from Crabtree & Evelyn
An email dedicated to Random Act of Kindness Day from Crabtree & Evelyn

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in March

03.08 Women’s Day
03.14 National Pi Day
03.17 St. Patrick’s Day
03.20 International Day of Happiness

National Geographic dedicated their March campaign to the International Women’s Day. In the email, they honored the women who greatly contributed to National Geographic expeditions, explorations, and projects.

An email dedicated to Women’s Day from National Geographic
An email dedicated to Women’s Day from National Geographic

Forever 21 played with the 3.14 number on the corresponding Pi Day. They offered 314 styles for $3.14 and provided a themed free gift promo code for the specified order total.

An email dedicated to Pi Day from Forever 21
An email dedicated to Pi Day from Forever 21

By the way, it’s pretty sensible not to focus just on public and national holidays alone. You can always choose a birthday — subscriber’s, your company’s, or a celebrity’s — as a reason to email your database. This is what Live Love Polish did in their email — the brand dedicated a campaign to Van Gogh’s birthday and offered a range of nail designs inspired by the painter’s works.

An email dedicated to Van Gogh’s birthday from Live Love Polish
An email dedicated to Van Gogh’s birthday from Live Love Polish

Holidays to add to your email marketing calendar in April

04.01 April Fool’s Day
04.10 Siblings day
04.11 Pet Day
04.22 Earth Day

April Fool’s Day is a simple yet dope reason to email your customers. Catch their eyes with a prominent subject line so they would proceed to your email.

This is what Nic+Zoe did in their campaign. The company sent an email with the subject line “Seriously…not fooling around” and offered free shipping to all orders only on that day.

An email dedicated to April Fool’s Day from Nic+Zoe
An email dedicated to April Fool’s Day from Nic+Zoe

SkinCeuticals, in their turn, celebrated Siblings Day by coming up with a selection of alike skincare products in their April campaign.

An email dedicated to Siblings Day
An email dedicated to Siblings Day

And finally, Petco celebrated subscribers’ pet friends in a themed email and offered users follow-up links to buy gifts for the four-legged loved ones.

An email dedicated to Pet’s Day from Petco
An email dedicated to Pet’s Day from Petco

So here we are, having traveled right around the year in two posts and gathered some cool newshooks to serve your email marketing all 12 months long. Have we missed any worthwhile holidays out? Leave your ideas below and remember to check out SendPulse template library to find or create a template for your very special campaign!

The post Email Marketing Calendar: Your November Through April Plan appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

Email Accessibility Guidelines, or Make Your Emails User-Friendly for Everyone

Email Accessibility Guidelines, or Make Your Emails User-Friendly for Everyone

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 8

Email accessibility makes your emails user-friendly for everyone including people with disabilities as it allows them to perceive your emails and interact with them easily.

There are a few design and copy adjustments you can do to make your emails more accessible. In this article, we’ll explain how employing accessibility will impact your email campaigns, why it matters, and how to put it into practice.

Why accessibility matters

So why should you be concerned about accessibility, and what benefits can it bring to you and your business? Let’s take a look at some facts:

  1. In general, 15% of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, have some sort of disability. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide live with some form of visual impairment: 36 million people cannot see at all, and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. As you can tell, a very large number of people might have troubles with different day-to-day things, including interaction with devices and reading emails.
  2. Apart from that, the disability market represents $1.2 trillion in annual disposable income.
  3. According to a recent research by Cone Communications, 78% of Americans want companies to address social issues, and 87% would buy a product from a company which supported the issue they personally cared about.

So, employing email accessibility, you not only broaden your audience and open up new opportunities for more profit but also show your respect and care for each and everyone, which increases your credibility in the eyes of socially responsible users and people with disabilities.

How to create an accessible email

In this section, we’ll take a look at seven elements that can help you make your emails more accessible to everyone:

  • structure;
  • code;
  • alternative text;
  • links and buttons;
  • fonts;
  • colors;
  • zooming in and out.

In addition to these elements, we recommend going through the criteria list accessibility guidelines by The World Wide Web Consortium, which will help you ensure your web content is accessible to people with disabilities.

Structure

First, make sure that you place your email content in a logical order as screen readers comprehend it from left to right and from top to bottom. Read your emails out aloud to see if it’s easy to understand the copy itself without looking at the images.

For example, Collaborative Fund keep a good logical structure in their emails, so it’s very easy to follow them with your eyes and with a screen reader.

accessible email example
An email from Collaborative Fund with a logical content order

For people with dyslexia and cognitive disabilities, it can be difficult to comprehend large complex pieces of text. That’s why we recommend that you get straight to the point in your copy, making your sentences shorter and avoiding long or jargon words. Arrange one thought within a single sentence and one topic within a single paragraph.

To test the readability of your text, use services like Readable. You can paste your text there, and the tool will automatically highlight long sentences or complex words and suggest easier alternatives and synonyms. Take a look at Readable in action:

Checking a piece of text for readability with Readable

Code

Then, take a look at your code. There should be heading elements like h1, h2 and paragraph tag p, and so on. This will allow screen readers navigate through your email. A language HTML tag lang=”” will let any assistive technology understand which language profile to use for the content. Go to a list of all HTML language tags to find the code of the language you need.

To clean your code and make sure you don’t have any unclosed tags and other issues, you can use different email testing tools.

For example, to avoid any troubles with displaying your content correctly in the visual or audio format, you can try out Dirty Markup. Just paste your code and click “Clean.”

How to clean up your email code with Dirty Markup

Alternative text

Always include a detailed alternative text, or alt text, for images — you should convey the purpose or the meaning of the image so that subscribers who use assistive technology or have images turned off will understand the overall context.

On the example from Messy Nessy Chic, you can see that every image has an alt text, including social media buttons at the email footer.

accessibility email example
Alt text for images in an email from Messy Nessy Chic

If your email contains decorative images — those used for visual design and not assigning a specific meaning — you should add an empty attribute alt=”” to it. This will make screen readers skip the image.

When it comes to the copy, avoid text like “Click here” and place a hyperlink in the context of a sentence. This will make it easier for users to understand where the link is going to redirect them. And remember, your links should be distinguishable from the surrounding text.

Take a look at the example from InsightTimer; they use a clean hyperlink text, which would be easy to understand even to those who can’t read the email themselves.

accessible email example
Hyperlinks in an email from InsightTimer

As for call to action buttons, keep them large enough to be tapped by any thumb on any device. Surround your buttons with sufficient white space so that there will be no accidental taps.

Fonts

The font size in an accessible email shouldn’t go lower than 14px. Moreover, you should use web safe fonts, which will display correctly on most devices and operating systems. These fonts are Arial, Comic Sans, Courier New, Georgia, Impact, Palatino, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, Times New Roman, and Verdana. Learn more about picking a perfect font for your emails on our blog.

What is more, we advise that you apply left alignment for the text. While reading, the start of each new line serves as an anchor for our eyes. When the alignment is centered, every line begins at a different point, making a user jump from one line to another. With a justified alignment, in its turn, the spacing between words is different every time. That’s why keeping that visual anchor in the same place, or using a left-side alignment, is your best choice for readability purposes.

It’s also recommended to divide your text by headings, quotes, and other types of formatting.

Brain Pickings offer very long and content-heavy emails which consist mostly of text, but it’s easy to “digest” them because of their formatting choices.

accessible email example
Text formatting in the email from BrainPickings

Colors

First of all, you should check if the colors in your email are contrasting enough for it to be accessible to people who have vision issues. For example, it’s recommended that the ratio for the normal text should be at least 4.5:1 and 3:1 for enlarged text, which is often used in headings.

To check good contrast in terms of email accessibility, you can use tools like Tanaguru or WebAIM. They allow you to see the contrast ratio of your foreground and background. The Are My Colors Accessible is another great option to check whether it’s easy to comprehend your email.

For example, if we check the standard black text and white background combination, we can see that the contrast ratio is very high: 21:1. However, when we change the background color to orange, the ratio drops to 10.63:1.

Checking the contrast ratio in Are My Colors Accessible tool

Zooming in and out

For low-vision users, zoom settings are often used to increase the size of text and other visual elements on a screen. So check whether it’s possible to zoom your email to at least 200% without losing the quality of the content.

Below you can see a fragment of The Futur email we’ve zoomed to 200% — all email content remained visible and can be read clearly.

accessible email example
Zooming in an email from The Futur

All in all

When creating an accessible email, try to keep these points in mind:

  1. Maintain a logical reading structure of your email.
  2. Use clean code with appropriate tags required by assistive devices.
  3. Include informative alt text for each image in your email, including social media buttons and your logo.
  4. Ensure that all your links and buttons are usable, or easy to interact with.
  5. Keep your fonts at a minimum of 14px, use appropriate formatting, and align your text to the left.
  6. Stick to good contrast between the background and foreground colors.
  7. Make sure that your content can be zoomed to at least 200% without loss of content.

Implementing email accessibility without prior experience can be daunting. However, when you analyze its potential impact, it’s clear that this work is worth doing. Try out SendPulse to build clean and accessible email templates and send them out to all your subscribers.

The post Email Accessibility Guidelines, or Make Your Emails User-Friendly for Everyone appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

Email Accessibility Guidelines, or Make Your Emails User-Friendly for Everyone

Email Accessibility Guidelines, or Make Your Emails User-Friendly for Everyone

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 9

Email accessibility makes your emails user-friendly for everyone including people with disabilities as it allows them to perceive your emails and interact with them easily.

There are a few design and copy adjustments you can do to make your emails more accessible. In this article, we’ll explain how employing accessibility will impact your email campaigns, why it matters, and how to put it into practice.

Why accessibility matters

So why should you be concerned about accessibility, and what benefits can it bring to you and your business? Let’s take a look at some facts:

  1. In general, 15% of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, have some sort of disability. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide live with some form of visual impairment: 36 million people cannot see at all, and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. As you can tell, a very large number of people might have troubles with different day-to-day things, including interaction with devices and reading emails.
  2. Apart from that, the disability market represents $1.2 trillion in annual disposable income.
  3. According to a recent research by Cone Communications, 78% of Americans want companies to address social issues, and 87% would buy a product from a company which supported the issue they personally cared about.

So, employing email accessibility, you not only broaden your audience and open up new opportunities for more profit but also show your respect and care for each and everyone, which increases your credibility in the eyes of socially responsible users and people with disabilities.

How to create an accessible email

In this section, we’ll take a look at seven elements that can help you make your emails more accessible to everyone:

  • structure;
  • code;
  • alternative text;
  • links and buttons;
  • fonts;
  • colors;
  • zooming in and out.

In addition to these elements, we recommend going through the criteria list accessibility guidelines by The World Wide Web Consortium, which will help you ensure your web content is accessible to people with disabilities.

Structure

First, make sure that you place your email content in a logical order as screen readers comprehend it from left to right and from top to bottom. Read your emails out aloud to see if it’s easy to understand the copy itself without looking at the images.

For example, Collaborative Fund keep a good logical structure in their emails, so it’s very easy to follow them with your eyes and with a screen reader.

accessible email example
An email from Collaborative Fund with a logical content order

For people with dyslexia and cognitive disabilities, it can be difficult to comprehend large complex pieces of text. That’s why we recommend that you get straight to the point in your copy, making your sentences shorter and avoiding long or jargon words. Arrange one thought within a single sentence and one topic within a single paragraph.

To test the readability of your text, use services like Readable. You can paste your text there, and the tool will automatically highlight long sentences or complex words and suggest easier alternatives and synonyms. Take a look at Readable in action:

Checking a piece of text for readability with Readable

Code

Then, take a look at your code. There should be heading elements like h1, h2 and paragraph tag p, and so on. This will allow screen readers navigate through your email. A language HTML tag lang=”” will let any assistive technology understand which language profile to use for the content. Go to a list of all HTML language tags to find the code of the language you need.

To clean your code and make sure you don’t have any unclosed tags and other issues, you can use different email testing tools.

For example, to avoid any troubles with displaying your content correctly in the visual or audio format, you can try out Dirty Markup. Just paste your code and click “Clean.”

How to clean up your email code with Dirty Markup

Alternative text

Always include a detailed alternative text, or alt text, for images — you should convey the purpose or the meaning of the image so that subscribers who use assistive technology or have images turned off will understand the overall context.

On the example from Messy Nessy Chic, you can see that every image has an alt text, including social media buttons at the email footer.

accessibility email example
Alt text for images in an email from Messy Nessy Chic

If your email contains decorative images — those used for visual design and not assigning a specific meaning — you should add an empty attribute alt=”” to it. This will make screen readers skip the image.

When it comes to the copy, avoid text like “Click here” and place a hyperlink in the context of a sentence. This will make it easier for users to understand where the link is going to redirect them. And remember, your links should be distinguishable from the surrounding text.

Take a look at the example from InsightTimer; they use a clean hyperlink text, which would be easy to understand even to those who can’t read the email themselves.

accessible email example
Hyperlinks in an email from InsightTimer

As for call to action buttons, keep them large enough to be tapped by any thumb on any device. Surround your buttons with sufficient white space so that there will be no accidental taps.

Fonts

The font size in an accessible email shouldn’t go lower than 14px. Moreover, you should use web safe fonts, which will display correctly on most devices and operating systems. These fonts are Arial, Comic Sans, Courier New, Georgia, Impact, Palatino, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, Times New Roman, and Verdana. Learn more about picking a perfect font for your emails on our blog.

What is more, we advise that you apply left alignment for the text. While reading, the start of each new line serves as an anchor for our eyes. When the alignment is centered, every line begins at a different point, making a user jump from one line to another. With a justified alignment, in its turn, the spacing between words is different every time. That’s why keeping that visual anchor in the same place, or using a left-side alignment, is your best choice for readability purposes.

It’s also recommended to divide your text by headings, quotes, and other types of formatting.

Brain Pickings offer very long and content-heavy emails which consist mostly of text, but it’s easy to “digest” them because of their formatting choices.

accessible email example
Text formatting in the email from BrainPickings

Colors

First of all, you should check if the colors in your email are contrasting enough for it to be accessible to people who have vision issues. For example, it’s recommended that the ratio for the normal text should be at least 4.5:1 and 3:1 for enlarged text, which is often used in headings.

To check good contrast in terms of email accessibility, you can use tools like Tanaguru or WebAIM. They allow you to see the contrast ratio of your foreground and background. The Are My Colors Accessible is another great option to check whether it’s easy to comprehend your email.

For example, if we check the standard black text and white background combination, we can see that the contrast ratio is very high: 21:1. However, when we change the background color to orange, the ratio drops to 10.63:1.

Checking the contrast ratio in Are My Colors Accessible tool

Zooming in and out

For low-vision users, zoom settings are often used to increase the size of text and other visual elements on a screen. So check whether it’s possible to zoom your email to at least 200% without losing the quality of the content.

Below you can see a fragment of The Futur email we’ve zoomed to 200% — all email content remained visible and can be read clearly.

accessible email example
Zooming in an email from The Futur

All in all

When creating an accessible email, try to keep these points in mind:

  1. Maintain a logical reading structure of your email.
  2. Use clean code with appropriate tags required by assistive devices.
  3. Include informative alt text for each image in your email, including social media buttons and your logo.
  4. Ensure that all your links and buttons are usable, or easy to interact with.
  5. Keep your fonts at a minimum of 14px, use appropriate formatting, and align your text to the left.
  6. Stick to good contrast between the background and foreground colors.
  7. Make sure that your content can be zoomed to at least 200% without loss of content.

Implementing email accessibility without prior experience can be daunting. However, when you analyze its potential impact, it’s clear that this work is worth doing. Try out SendPulse to build clean and accessible email templates and send them out to all your subscribers.

The post Email Accessibility Guidelines, or Make Your Emails User-Friendly for Everyone appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

How to Calculate Your Cost per Lead and Get More Profit from Ads

How to Calculate Your Cost per Lead and Get More Profit from Ads

Email Background Images As Your Main Email Design Priority 10

In this article, we’ll learn why and how to calculate your cost per lead (CPL), recognize the elements of the cost-per-lead formula, and find out how to decrease your CPL without losing profits.

What is cost per lead?

Imagine that you’ve launched an ad campaign in social media, in contextual advertisements, and on partner websites. Afterwards, you’ve got new clients. How do you measure whether you’ve spent enough, too little, or too much money on advertisements? How do you find out what channels have brought the biggest number of customers?

To measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns you’ve launched, you should calculate how much you’ve spent on acquiring each single customer. You can also calculate the number of those who got interested in your product or brand.

A person who completed a desired action is called a lead, and the money spent to motivate that user for completing that action are called cost per lead, or CPL.

Why do you need to calculate cost per lead?

The CPL directly influences the customer acquisition cost (CAC), or cost associated with a user who has already made a purchase. When you know how much you spent on acquiring a customer and how much profit this customer brought to your company, you can define the most effective lead generation channels.

Find out your customer acquisition cost

The more expensive the product, the longer it takes for a customer to make a buying decision. You can influence that decision by, for example, telling more details about your products in emails. Then, the CAC will also include the cost of the advertisement which helped you include that customer to your mailing list.

Note! You shouldn’t confuse CPL with CAC. While CAC is a cost per each user who completed a purchase, CPL is a cost of each step that the user takes on the way to the purchase. It can be a website registration, email subscription, and so on.

Identify the most effective lead generation channel

Different lead generation channels bring different types of customers with different purchasing power. The more expensive the leads are, the more profit they might bring.

Let’s imagine that you’ve spent $1000 on social media ads and $2000 on contextual ads. As a result, you received 10 customers from both channels. However, the customers who came from social media ads spent $400 on average, while the ones from contextual ads spent $800 on average.

This way, you might have found out that contextual ad campaigns bring more valuable leads than social media. Now, you can redistribute your advertising budget in favor of contextual ads.

Adjust your product price

The product price includes not only the production cost, but also the transportation, certification, advertising, and other expenses. If you can find the most optimal advertising channels, you will be able to spend less on ads and more on production quality. In other cases, you can increase the advertisement budget and lift the price of the product accordingly.

How to calculate cost per lead

You can calculate cost per lead using a formula based on your financial data. For correct calculations, it’s important for all your actions to be displayed in the statistics. For example, if you are counting the number of calls, all of these calls should be tracked.

To find out your cost per lead, you should divide the amount you’ve spent on advertisements by the number of leads you’ve attracted as a result of launching these ads. Remember that the cost per lead should never reach the margin value. It would mean that you are running at a deficit because leads don’t become customers.

The basic cost per lead formula looks like this:

CPL = The Amount Spent on Ads / The Number of Attracted Leads

You can also use an online cost per lead calculator. For example, the online CPL calculator by The Online Advertising Guide allows you to find out the existing cost per lead, while the target CPL calculator by Jellop lets you plan the desired cost per lead based on the customer lifetime value, lead to customer conversion rate, and the desired ROI.

What factors influence cost per lead:

  1. Average check. The higher it is, the higher quality leads you will need, and the higher will be the cost per lead as a result.
  2. Customer lifetime value. While calculating your cost per lead, take into account repeat purchases. If the percentage of repeat purchases is high, then you can indicate a higher cost per lead, even though it isn’t recouped from the first purchase.

It would be great if you evaluated cost per lead separately for each channel such as Google, partner websites, or social media. This way you can test the effectiveness of each channel and get rid of the ones that don’t work for you.

How to decrease cost per lead

If you don’t have a big advertising budget, you can decrease CPL to attract more customers for the same money spent. We offer you seven ways to do that.

Lower your cost per click

Every click influences CPL directly. Let’s consider an example to see how it works. Imagine that 60 people clicked on a banner and each click cost you $5. Users were redirected to the website, where they could request a call back — the ones who did become your leads. Only 50% of website visitors, or 30 users, left a request.

The cost per lead formula would look like this:

CPL = number of clicks x cost per click (CPC) / a number of leads

60 × $5 / 30 = $10 per lead

If the cost per click is low, then the cost per lead will also be low.

However, keep in mind that CPC determines the quality of incoming traffic. On a regular basis, you should track your click-through rates (CTR) and conversions. If these numbers are much lower than the obtained CPL, then this method doesn’t do well for you.

Add or remove keywords

You need to build a semantic kernel which will help you to bring relevant users. To rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP) and not to lose money on irrelevant clicks, you need to know the exact search queries of your audience. This will lead to more website visitors interested in your product, more purchases, and a lower CPL.

Track the keyword stats regularly, removing the ones which are not effective for you, and adding more keywords similar to the ones which attract relevant audience. It will work well if you use one keyword for one ad as you will be able to turn off ineffective ads right away.

You can also make a list of negative keywords, which will be excluded from your campaigns. For example, in case your service is paid, you can add “for free” into the negative keywords list.

So, track which keywords bring you the biggest number of users. Add relevant ones to your main list and irrelevant to the negative keywords list.

Use long-tail keywords

The shorter is the keyword or key phrase, the more often it’s searched by users. For example, if you enter “grapefruit” in the search bar, you will see more than 74 million results.

short-tail keyword
Searching for a short-tail keyword in Google

If you search “grapefruit buy in bulk,” you will see almost 13 million results.

long-tail keyword
Searching for a long-tail keyword in Google

You will get less traffic from long-tail keywords, but it will be more relevant. While making a list of long-tail keywords, you need to check their competition or, in other words, find out how many websites use the same keyword to rank in Google.

To calculate keyword effectiveness index, use this formula:

KEI = a number of queries a month² / a number of search results

Calculate your KEI and then see what type of competition you are dealing with based on these numbers:

  • a result from 0 to 10 means low competition;
  • from 10 to 100 means average competition;
  • from 100 to 400 or higher means high or extremely high competition.

You can look up a number of queries in Google Ads Keyword Planner under the “Impression” column.

impressions in Google Ads Keyword Planner
The number of impressions for keywords in Google Ads Keyword Planner

You can also see the average number of searches and check out how strong the competition is.

searches and competition in Google Ads Keyword Planner
Checking the average number of searches and competition in Google Ads Keyword Planner

And the number of search results will be visible on the search engine results page.

number of search results
The number of search results is displayed on the SERP

If you have a few separate ad campaigns with long-tail and short-tail keywords, you can add short-tail ones to the negative keyword list of the ad campaign with the long-tail keywords. This won’t allow popular keywords to “steal” your traffic.

Improve your ad copy

Users are always seeking for the most relevant content, which is in line with their queries. It means that the text of your ad campaign should match the text of the landing page. Describe your unique selling proposition (USP) or an ongoing promo campaign in the ad copy.

Create a few different options and test them to find out which one converts better. For instance, Google Ads allows you to hold a split test of new ad options. For that, you should go to the “Drafts and experiments” section.

Create a new project, link it to the existing campaign, and distribute your budget between the real and the test campaigns. As soon as you get the results, you will be able to change the entire campaign based on the test or just use the test separately.

Note that you shouldn’t always try to lower the CPL. While leads from one source might have 1% conversion and from the other — 5% conversion, the difference in CPL between these sources may be no more than two times.

Analyze delayed conversions

The user’s first website visit doesn’t always guarantee conversion. Often, a user moves down the sales funnel step by step.

For example, a user journey towards the conversion might look like this:

  1. They click on the ad in social media, visit the website, and leave.
  2. They see a contextual ad, follow the link again, and sign up for emails.
  3. They follow the link in email and leave the website again.
  4. They follow a direct link and make a purchase.

In this case, you should calculate email opt-in conversion from a contextual ad and a purchase conversion from a direct link. However, the source of the lead was a social media ad, so this is a case of a delayed conversion. Then, the CPL should include the social media ad, the contextual ad, and an email costs.

You should track delayed conversions in order to have an idea where your leads come from, how people find information about you, and what path they follow. This will also help you understand how to shorten this way and, as a result, lower CPL.

Google Analytics uses multi-channel funnels to track delayed conversions. There, you can see conversions from all channels; you can follow their history and see how valuable these conversions were in financial terms. The time period to choose can be from 1 to 90 days.

Multi-Channel Funnels report
Looking up Multi-Channel Funnels report in Google Analytics

Increase website conversions

Every user who doesn’t complete a target action, increases your average CPL. This can happen, for instance, due to the low usability of your website. In such a case, if people don’t subscribe to your emails, check if the opt-in form is too far from the fold or if it’s not user-friendly. If your website visitors don’t complete their purchases, the process may be too confusing or too long for them.

Check if your website has

  • a simple and logical structure;
  • an easy and fast way to fill in all the forms and make a purchase;
  • well-visible detailed contact information;
  • clear imperative calls to action, such as “Buy,” “Subscribe,” and so on.

You can create a heatmap using the Page Analytics add-on for Google Chrome. It will allow you to see your website performance and understand which sections of the site get the most attention.

Enhance your product

Define your USP and constantly improve the quality of your products and services. An effective offer will distinguish you from competitors and give users a sound reason to become your customers. A useful product and a quality service will form a constant flow of loyal audience, so you will have a chance to lower your CPL by decreasing the amounts you spend on attracting new customers.

Sum up: what you need to remember

Lead is a user who completed any target action — from a click to a purchase. Cost per lead, or CPL, is the amount of money you’ve spent to guide a user to a target action.

When you know the CPL of different channels, you can find out their effectiveness and distribute your budget in the most efficient way or even change the price of the product itself.

How to calculate cost per lead:

CPL = The Amount Spent on Ads / The Number of Attracted Leads

How to lower cost per lead:

  • lower the cost per click in contextual ads;
  • work with your keywords: get rid of the irrelevant ones, adding similar to those which bring leads, and use long-tail keywords;
  • hold split tests of different ad campaigns;
  • analyze delayed conversions;
  • increase website conversions;
  • improve your product.

Test various lead generating channels and don’t forget about email marketing. SendPulse makes it easy to build and segment your mailing lists, personalize emails, and sell your products straight from the email campaigns. Build up your own unique email marketing strategy, and we will help you reach your best results!

The post How to Calculate Your Cost per Lead and Get More Profit from Ads appeared first on SendPulse Blog.

How to Calculate Your Cost per Lead and Get More Profit from Ads

How to Calculate Your Cost per Lead and Get More Profit from Ads

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In this article, we’ll learn why and how to calculate your cost per lead (CPL), recognize the elements of the cost-per-lead formula, and find out how to decrease your CPL without losing profits.

What is cost per lead?

Imagine that you’ve launched an ad campaign in social media, in contextual advertisements, and on partner websites. Afterwards, you’ve got new clients. How do you measure whether you’ve spent enough, too little, or too much money on advertisements? How do you find out what channels have brought the biggest number of customers?

To measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns you’ve launched, you should calculate how much you’ve spent on acquiring each single customer. You can also calculate the number of those who got interested in your product or brand.

A person who completed a desired action is called a lead, and the money spent to motivate that user for completing that action are called cost per lead, or CPL.

Why do you need to calculate cost per lead?

The CPL directly influences the customer acquisition cost (CAC), or cost associated with a user who has already made a purchase. When you know how much you spent on acquiring a customer and how much profit this customer brought to your company, you can define the most effective lead generation channels.

Find out your customer acquisition cost

The more expensive the product, the longer it takes for a customer to make a buying decision. You can influence that decision by, for example, telling more details about your products in emails. Then, the CAC will also include the cost of the advertisement which helped you include that customer to your mailing list.

Note! You shouldn’t confuse CPL with CAC. While CAC is a cost per each user who completed a purchase, CPL is a cost of each step that the user takes on the way to the purchase. It can be a website registration, email subscription, and so on.

Identify the most effective lead generation channel

Different lead generation channels bring different types of customers with different purchasing power. The more expensive the leads are, the more profit they might bring.

Let’s imagine that you’ve spent $1000 on social media ads and $2000 on contextual ads. As a result, you received 10 customers from both channels. However, the customers who came from social media ads spent $400 on average, while the ones from contextual ads spent $800 on average.

This way, you might have found out that contextual ad campaigns bring more valuable leads than social media. Now, you can redistribute your advertising budget in favor of contextual ads.

Adjust your product price

The product price includes not only the production cost, but also the transportation, certification, advertising, and other expenses. If you can find the most optimal advertising channels, you will be able to spend less on ads and more on production quality. In other cases, you can increase the advertisement budget and lift the price of the product accordingly.

How to calculate cost per lead

You can calculate cost per lead using a formula based on your financial data. For correct calculations, it’s important for all your actions to be displayed in the statistics. For example, if you are counting the number of calls, all of these calls should be tracked.

To find out your cost per lead, you should divide the amount you’ve spent on advertisements by the number of leads you’ve attracted as a result of launching these ads. Remember that the cost per lead should never reach the margin value. It would mean that you are running at a deficit because leads don’t become customers.

The basic cost per lead formula looks like this:

CPL = The Amount Spent on Ads / The Number of Attracted Leads

You can also use an online cost per lead calculator. For example, the online CPL calculator by The Online Advertising Guide allows you to find out the existing cost per lead, while the target CPL calculator by Jellop lets you plan the desired cost per lead based on the customer lifetime value, lead to customer conversion rate, and the desired ROI.

What factors influence cost per lead:

  1. Average check. The higher it is, the higher quality leads you will need, and the higher will be the cost per lead as a result.
  2. Customer lifetime value. While calculating your cost per lead, take into account repeat purchases. If the percentage of repeat purchases is high, then you can indicate a higher cost per lead, even though it isn’t recouped from the first purchase.

It would be great if you evaluated cost per lead separately for each channel such as Google, partner websites, or social media. This way you can test the effectiveness of each channel and get rid of the ones that don’t work for you.

How to decrease cost per lead

If you don’t have a big advertising budget, you can decrease CPL to attract more customers for the same money spent. We offer you seven ways to do that.

Lower your cost per click

Every click influences CPL directly. Let’s consider an example to see how it works. Imagine that 60 people clicked on a banner and each click cost you $5. Users were redirected to the website, where they could request a call back — the ones who did become your leads. Only 50% of website visitors, or 30 users, left a request.

The cost per lead formula would look like this:

CPL = number of clicks x cost per click (CPC) / a number of leads

60 × $5 / 30 = $10 per lead

If the cost per click is low, then the cost per lead will also be low.

However, keep in mind that CPC determines the quality of incoming traffic. On a regular basis, you should track your click-through rates (CTR) and conversions. If these numbers are much lower than the obtained CPL, then this method doesn’t do well for you.

Add or remove keywords

You need to build a semantic kernel which will help you to bring relevant users. To rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP) and not to lose money on irrelevant clicks, you need to know the exact search queries of your audience. This will lead to more website visitors interested in your product, more purchases, and a lower CPL.

Track the keyword stats regularly, removing the ones which are not effective for you, and adding more keywords similar to the ones which attract relevant audience. It will work well if you use one keyword for one ad as you will be able to turn off ineffective ads right away.

You can also make a list of negative keywords, which will be excluded from your campaigns. For example, in case your service is paid, you can add “for free” into the negative keywords list.

So, track which keywords bring you the biggest number of users. Add relevant ones to your main list and irrelevant to the negative keywords list.

Use long-tail keywords

The shorter is the keyword or key phrase, the more often it’s searched by users. For example, if you enter “grapefruit” in the search bar, you will see more than 74 million results.

short-tail keyword
Searching for a short-tail keyword in Google

If you search “grapefruit buy in bulk,” you will see almost 13 million results.

long-tail keyword
Searching for a long-tail keyword in Google

You will get less traffic from long-tail keywords, but it will be more relevant. While making a list of long-tail keywords, you need to check their competition or, in other words, find out how many websites use the same keyword to rank in Google.

To calculate keyword effectiveness index, use this formula:

KEI = a number of queries a month² / a number of search results

Calculate your KEI and then see what type of competition you are dealing with based on these numbers:

  • a result from 0 to 10 means low competition;
  • from 10 to 100 means average competition;
  • from 100 to 400 or higher means high or extremely high competition.

You can look up a number of queries in Google Ads Keyword Planner under the “Impression” column.

impressions in Google Ads Keyword Planner
The number of impressions for keywords in Google Ads Keyword Planner

You can also see the average number of searches and check out how strong the competition is.

searches and competition in Google Ads Keyword Planner
Checking the average number of searches and competition in Google Ads Keyword Planner

And the number of search results will be visible on the search engine results page.

number of search results
The number of search results is displayed on the SERP

If you have a few separate ad campaigns with long-tail and short-tail keywords, you can add short-tail ones to the negative keyword list of the ad campaign with the long-tail keywords. This won’t allow popular keywords to “steal” your traffic.

Improve your ad copy

Users are always seeking for the most relevant content, which is in line with their queries. It means that the text of your ad campaign should match the text of the landing page. Describe your unique selling proposition (USP) or an ongoing promo campaign in the ad copy.

Create a few different options and test them to find out which one converts better. For instance, Google Ads allows you to hold a split test of new ad options. For that, you should go to the “Drafts and experiments” section.

Create a new project, link it to the existing campaign, and distribute your budget between the real and the test campaigns. As soon as you get the results, you will be able to change the entire campaign based on the test or just use the test separately.

Note that you shouldn’t always try to lower the CPL. While leads from one source might have 1% conversion and from the other — 5% conversion, the difference in CPL between these sources may be no more than two times.

Analyze delayed conversions

The user’s first website visit doesn’t always guarantee conversion. Often, a user moves down the sales funnel step by step.

For example, a user journey towards the conversion might look like this:

  1. They click on the ad in social media, visit the website, and leave.
  2. They see a contextual ad, follow the link again, and sign up for emails.
  3. They follow the link in email and leave the website again.
  4. They follow a direct link and make a purchase.

In this case, you should calculate email opt-in conversion from a contextual ad and a purchase conversion from a direct link. However, the source of the lead was a social media ad, so this is a case of a delayed conversion. Then, the CPL should include the social media ad, the contextual ad, and an email costs.

You should track delayed conversions in order to have an idea where your leads come from, how people find information about you, and what path they follow. This will also help you understand how to shorten this way and, as a result, lower CPL.

Google Analytics uses multi-channel funnels to track delayed conversions. There, you can see conversions from all channels; you can follow their history and see how valuable these conversions were in financial terms. The time period to choose can be from 1 to 90 days.

Multi-Channel Funnels report
Looking up Multi-Channel Funnels report in Google Analytics

Increase website conversions

Every user who doesn’t complete a target action, increases your average CPL. This can happen, for instance, due to the low usability of your website. In such a case, if people don’t subscribe to your emails, check if the opt-in form is too far from the fold or if it’s not user-friendly. If your website visitors don’t complete their purchases, the process may be too confusing or too long for them.

Check if your website has

  • a simple and logical structure;
  • an easy and fast way to fill in all the forms and make a purchase;
  • well-visible detailed contact information;
  • clear imperative calls to action, such as “Buy,” “Subscribe,” and so on.

You can create a heatmap using the Page Analytics add-on for Google Chrome. It will allow you to see your website performance and understand which sections of the site get the most attention.

Enhance your product

Define your USP and constantly improve the quality of your products and services. An effective offer will distinguish you from competitors and give users a sound reason to become your customers. A useful product and a quality service will form a constant flow of loyal audience, so you will have a chance to lower your CPL by decreasing the amounts you spend on attracting new customers.

Sum up: what you need to remember

Lead is a user who completed any target action — from a click to a purchase. Cost per lead, or CPL, is the amount of money you’ve spent to guide a user to a target action.

When you know the CPL of different channels, you can find out their effectiveness and distribute your budget in the most efficient way or even change the price of the product itself.

How to calculate cost per lead:

CPL = The Amount Spent on Ads / The Number of Attracted Leads

How to lower cost per lead:

  • lower the cost per click in contextual ads;
  • work with your keywords: get rid of the irrelevant ones, adding similar to those which bring leads, and use long-tail keywords;
  • hold split tests of different ad campaigns;
  • analyze delayed conversions;
  • increase website conversions;
  • improve your product.

Test various lead generating channels and don’t forget about email marketing. SendPulse makes it easy to build and segment your mailing lists, personalize emails, and sell your products straight from the email campaigns. Build up your own unique email marketing strategy, and we will help you reach your best results!

The post How to Calculate Your Cost per Lead and Get More Profit from Ads appeared first on SendPulse Blog.