marketing

All About Email Marketing

Check out all our email marketing posts here.

Over the last few months, email marketing has been the topic of our most popular blogs — and with a low up front investment and great conversion rate, we can see why.

We’ve compiled a few of our favorite email marketing blogs into an easy to reference list. From the basics of what kind of emails to send to templates for upselling emails, we hope you’ll find what you need here.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Leave us a comment letting us know what we should post about!

Email Basics

4 types of emails you need to be sending

You can send a wide variety of different emails to your marketing list, but if you’re just getting started with email marketing, there’s a few types of emails we suggest you start with. These four types are all great to engage both new customers and old leads.

Learn more here >

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How to write a subject line that gets clicks

If you’re struggling to see the click through rate your campaigns need to succeed, we’ve got a bank of ideas to help give them a boost.

Get the details here >


6 reasons to send a company newsletter

Newsletters can, and should be, a staple lead-generating part of your marketing activity. They add credibility. They add value. And, most importantly, they add revenue to your books.

Read it here >

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6 ways to spruce up your email signature

By leveraging your email signature you could drive more traffic to your site, increase your social following and promote current or upcoming sales.

Learn more here >

 

Email Templates

If you’re just getting started with email campaigns, these quick and customizable templates will help you get things off on the right foot.

3 cross-sell emails that convert

There’s endless potential sales out there to To help improve the chance of upselling, we’ve compiled three proven cross-sell templates for you to tweak and use.

Get the templates here >

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4 event emails that will increase attendance rates

If your attendance levels aren’t as high as you’d hoped this four-stage email marketing plan will help you hit your event’s overarching key performance indicators.

Learn more here >


4 free welcome template emails

According to Salesforce’s benchmark study, welcome emails are the third most popular type of email sent by businesses. If done right, they engage new customers straight away by prompting recipients to start the next stage in their customer journey.

Learn more here >

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Hue & Tone Creative: your Email Marketing Partners

Need a hand writing or designing your very own emails? Look no further - we’ve got you covered from content development to design. To discuss our email services and more, contact us at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

How to conduct A/B testing

Colleague #1:“Lets change the layout of this landing page.”

Colleague #2: “What’s the reason for the change?”

Colleague #1:“Just because. Maybe it’ll work better.”

 

How many times have you had or heard a conversation along these lines? It’s the marketing equivalent of shooting in the dark and hoping for the best. 

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Spoiler: there’s a better way to make big business decisions.

A/B testing, also sometimes referred to as ‘split testing’, is a type of experiment used by marketers to gauge which variation of a campaign works best. 

The concept itself has been around for a long time, but is particularly relevant in the worlds of email and web marketing. It’s an inexpensive and reliable method to really understand whatworks for the correct audience. 

When it comes to what you can test the possibilities are almost endless, but some common examples include:

  • Landing page copy

  • Call to actions (CTAs)

  • Email subject lines

  • Headlines

  • Product descriptions

  • Advertisement imagery and colors

  • Email sender names

  • Personalization options

How to conduct A/B Testing  |  Hue & Tone Creative

The benefits of A/B testing

How many times have you or a colleague made a decision based on instinct, a gut feeling, or best practice? It’s impossible to predict how people will react, and A/B testing will help you remove some of that guess work.

If done right, it can give you tangible insights that increase web traffic and conversions -- and decrease bounce rates and missed opportunities. 

If done wrong, inaccurate results can be extracted which can result in performance-damaging decisions being made. So, let’s make sure you get it right! 

How to get started 


1. Pick your variable

First things first, you need to pick which variable you want to test. It’s important to focus your efforts on only one element or change at a time, otherwise you won’t know which is responsible for your surge or slump in performance.

For example, if you were focusing on improving the conversion rate of an email and changed the color of your CTA and the template, how would you know which change was behind the results?

That doesn’t mean you can’t fiddle with various elements of a single campaign, it just means they can’t be measured concurrently. Sticking with the email example, you’d need to make your CTA change, analyze your results, take action accordingly, and then experiment with your template

2. Set your goals

Once you’ve settled on your variable, you need to set its primary goal. Let’s say your experimenting with the text on a landing page, your primary goal could be to either: 

  • Reduce the page’s bounce rate

  • Increase the average time spent on the page

  • Increase the page’s conversion rate

3. Create your variables

Next up, you need to create your two variations. Your control version is either what you already have (i.e. current webpage copy) or what you’d normally use (your standard email template, for example).

Your second variation - the ‘challenger’ - is the same asset, but with the isolated change you’re looking to test. For example, let’s pretend your testing if changing the color of your ‘Buy now’ button increases conversions.  

Your control version would be simply leaving the webpage unaltered, and your challenger version would involve using the exact same page, but changing the color of the button to X, Y or Z. It’s as simple as that.

 

4. Split your data

When it comes to splitting your data, it’s important to divvy it up equally - i.e. 50/50. The reason for this, is that it’s the quickest and most reliable way to get statistically significant results.

To make a decision on which variable is more effective, each has to be viewed the same amount of times. So, if you were to split your data 30/70 (with 30% going to your challenger version and 70% to the original), for example, it’d take much longer for your challenger to rack up the numbers needed to complete your experiment.

If you’re not sure where to start with this bit, here are some of the best rated A/B testing tools to help you:

5. Set your sample size

This one will vary depending on what you’re testing and which A/B testing tool you use. If you’re testing a webpage, for example, you might want to set yourself a target number of visitors to base your experiment on.

Or, if you’re measuring a social media ad, you might choose to set your campaign to run until each variation has earned 3,000 impressions, for example.

For help on how to determine your sample size, check out this guide.

 

6. Analyze your results

Last but not least, you need to take the time to carefully read and understand your results. During the analysis stage, it’s important to keep your primary goal in mind and not get distracted by other metrics.

By this, we mean if your main goal was to improve email conversions by changing your template, try not to get too caught up with things like open rate, click through rate (CTR), and bounce rate.

Important things to remember

Before you get going with your A/B tests, here are a few final points to bear in mind:

  • Run both your variations at the same time

  • Run your tests for the same amount of time

  • Only run one test at a time

  • Give your experiment enough time to produce meaningful results


Hue & Tone Creative: Your Marketing Partner

If you need help producing your A/B testing assets, you know where we are. To discuss your needs, goals and requirements, contact the team at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

19 marketing terms you need to know

Let’s be honest. We’ve all been sat in a meeting at one point or another, heard a term we’ve never come across before, not wanted to put our hand up to ask what it means, and instead sat there nodding along, not entirely sure what’s going on... hey, it happens to the best of us.

So, to help you bridge that gap and wave goodbye to your unknowing head nods, we’ve put together a glossary of 19 common marketing terms and what they mean - without the jargon. 

19 Marketing Terms You Need to Know  |  Hue & Tone Creative

1. A/B testing

A/B testing involves creating two variations of one element and running tests to compare which version works best. A few examples of when you would use A/B testing:

  • Email subject line text

  • Colors used for call-to-action (CTA) buttons

  • Content placed on landing pages

  • Imagery used in social media ads

The end goal of A/B testing is to figure out which assets are most successful and, ultimately, improve conversions.

2. Bounce rate

This number can be found in Google Analytics and it represents the percentage of visitors who land on any given page of your website, but then leave without clicking through to any other areas of your site. 
 

3. Buyer personas

buyer persona is a breakdown of what characteristics are typically present within certain clusters of your customer base, for example their:

  • Age, gender and geographic location

  • Professional and/or education status

  • Personality traits - i.e. comfort seekers, impulse buyers, worriers, confident, highly skilled, etc.

It’s worth noting that you can have several different types of buyer personas for a single product or service.

 

4. Click-through rate (CTR)

This is the number of visitors who visit a webpage and proceed to the next desired step - i.e. they click from your homepage through to a marketing advertisement. Or, they open your email and click through to your landing page.

5. Content management system (CMS)

The majority of us aren’t able to build a website from scratch, which is where CMS’ come in. Quite simply, a CMS is a facility created by web development experts, that allows non-technical users to create, edit and manage their very own site.  

It also helps with things like:

  • Making content SEO-friendly

  • Ensuring content is indexable

  • Automatically generating navigational elements

  • Setting up user permissions


6. Conversion rate

What defines a conversion can vary. For some businesses it might be a newsletter sign-up, for others it’s filling in a form, and for another it could be completing a purchase. So, your conversion rate is the percentage of people who follow through and complete yourdesired action.

A page with a high conversion rate can be classed as well-performing, while pages with a poor conversion rate might be an indication that work needs to be done to improve your numbers.

7. Dynamic content

Dynamic content enables you to present visitors with different content, based on what information you already have on them. 

For example, in the email world, this could be sending the same email to your entire customer base, but sending one cluster to a landing page promoting product X, another to product Y, and another again to product Z, because each item is best suited to their needs and spending history.

8. Evergreen content

Unlike things like news articles and seasonal blogs, evergreen content doesn’t have a sell-by date. It infinitely provides rich, useful information to its readers, and, if done well, it can add a great deal of SEO value to your site. 

For a flavor of what evergreen content looks like, here are a few great examples: 

9. HTML

Short for HyperText Markup Language, HTML is a type of language used to build webpages. It’s the foundation of every single site - regardless of its complexity, and works in conjunction with things like CSS and JavaScript.

11. Landing page

Landing pages are designated pages that are designed for lead generation purposes. Their content will vary from business-to-business, but some examples include offering an ebook, webinar, white paper or event. One element that tends to remain consistent though, is the presence of a form to capture important lead-generating information - like names, job titles, company information and contact details.

12. Microsite

You could say a microsite is a halfway house between a regular website and a landing page. They’re commonly used when companies want to create a unique experience for their audience, and one that’s distinct from their typical style. Because of this, microsites typically have their own domain name and a whole new look and feel design-wise.

13. On-page optimization

This is one of your site’s SEO elements, and it refers to things like your content, title tags, URL and image tags. Basically, it’s the practice of ensuring all the aforementioned areas are optimized for your desired keywords, to help bolster your organic rankings. 

14. Off-page optimization

Another segment that makes up your SEO efforts. Off-page optimization is often much more difficult to obtain success in because it’s usually out of your control, but if you master it, it can be incredibly fruitful.

A few ways to optimize your website off-page include:

  • Link building

  • Social media engagement

  • Social bookmarking

  • Guest blogging

15. PPC

PPC is short for pay-per-click. Quite simply, it involves paying a publisher (like a search engine, social media site or website owner) each time your ad is clicked on. 

19 Marketing Terms You Need to Know  |  Hue & Tone Creative


16. Responsive design

This refers to websites that are built to mould around the device they're being viewed on. So, for example, if you go to a website on your desktop and then again on your mobile, the content will automatically be optimized for both screens’ dimensions, ensuring ease of readability and accessibility.

17. User experience (UX)

UX encompasses everything your organization does from a prospect’s discovery all the way through to an existing customer’s renewal. A good UX can aid your conversions and a bad UX can do quite the opposite. To really get under the skin of a customer’s experience, you have to put yourself in their shoes and bethe customer - market research (like focus groups) can help with this.

18. Viral content

Viral content is the ultimate goal for most. It’s a piece of content that takes the internet by storm and spreads like wildfire through social sharing and re-publishing. Check out these examples for some inspiration. 

19. XML sitemap

Last but certainly not least, an XML sitemap is a file that hosts all your website’s relevant URLs. It helps search engines a) get to grips with your site’s structure, and b) crawl your pages more efficiently.

Although XML sitemaps don’t guarantee your pages will be indexed, they are still the best way to put your website out there and in front of search bots. 

Keywords form an important part of your SEO strategy and they play a key role in getting your pages ranked in search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

The keywords you target should be relevant to your product or service, in sync with what your target audience are likely to search for, and optimized both on-page (i.e. within a blog post or on a product page) and off-page (i.e. in your meta descriptions).


Hue & Tone Creative: Your marketing partners

So now you’ve come to grips with the jargon – but do you know how to truly utilize some of these tactics and trends If you don’t, don’t stress – that’s where we come in! To see how we can fulfill everything from your design and branding to social media and blogging needs, contact us today at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com

6 Skills Every Marketing Professional Needs

If you’ve watched Parks and Rec you might be under the impression that tigers, free iPads, and mobile hot tubs are the way to attract new customers. While part of us is curious to see what would happen if you use the "Ralphio + Haverford method," we're here to offer a few other ideas. 

If you're looking to go into marketing or feel like you're being left behind by the industry, there's a few things you need to learn:  

6 Skills Every Marketing Professional Needs  |  Hue & Tone Creative

1. Inbound Marketing (More specifically, HubSpot)

In response to the growing dislike of pushy advertising strategies, more and more marketers are embracing inbound.

HubSpot offers comprehensive sales and inbound marketing software that helps businesses generate leads and turn them into customers. HubSpot offers a few free certification courses that are perfect for beginners. The best part? You don't even have to be a customer!

What you can earn (with no commitment):

  • Inbound Certification
  • Inbound Sales
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Growth-Driven Design
     

2. SEO

If you don't already know about Search Engine Optimization -- we hate to say it -- but you're way behind. The good news is it's never too late to catch up! SEO is the complicated process of generating traffic through organic search results. Because the entire process can get pretty complicated, we highly recommend checking out our SEO Do’s and Don’ts -- as well as this great Beginners Guide to SEO from Moz.
 


3. Google AdWords

Studies show that 75% of people who perform an online search never scroll past the first page of results. 

Google AdWords allows you to plan and purchase display ads, video ads, app ads and search ads. It also helps you discover new keywords, study trends, retarget, and geo-track traffic so that you can continue improving your ads. 

This a valuable tool for beginners especially because you can monitor goals like ROI, brand awareness, traffic, and conversion all in one easy place. They offer resources that allow you to dip your toes into their content -- or become a fully certified Google Partner.

4. Sprout Social

A social media management platform is a must if you have multiple accounts to manage. Sprout Social allows you to manage your channels, post/schedule easily, and monitor your interaction. We like Sprout because it let's you recycle content by easily rescheduling it.

If you're looking for a less heavy-duty social media management tool to start out with, we suggest looking into Hootsuite or Buffer
 


5. Google Analytics

Another powerful tool from Google, Google Analytics is valuable for beginners and seasoned marketers alike. This “freemium” service monitors and reports traffic so that you can better understand who your target customer is and what they're looking for.

Google Analytics can help you improve your SEO tactics by tracking the ways visitors discover your site. What words are they using when they search? How many pages and what types of pages do they visit? Which pages and links are the most popular? Google Analytics studies these trends and helps provide the answers you need to make your site easier to find and more relevant to searchers

Use what you learn from Google Analytics in conjunction with Google AdWords and you'll be an unstoppable marketing machine!

6. Email Marketing

Email marketing is here to stay. It continues to grow in popularity year after year and consistently generates a high ROI.  

If you're looking for a cost effective and efficient way to keep in touch with customers then email marketing needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. We prefer MailChimp, but IContact, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monster are other great options. 

The takeaway? The platform you use isn't as important as the fact that you are using an email marketing platform! 


Greensboro Marketing Company

Feeling more than a little overwhelmed? Pass your marketing off to the pros and get it off your plate for good. From email campaigns to comprehensive branding, Hue & Tone Creative is here to help you create. Not sure exactly what you need? We can help you figure that out too! 

The Big List of Business Tools

Whether you’re starting a new business, turning over a new leaf, or just looking to streamline your current venture, you’re facing about a million (rough estimate) challenges at all times. But the good news is that for almost every problem you face there’s an app that’s here to make your life easier. And, to make things even easier, we’ve gone ahead and cut out the research process by compiling this list of essential business apps.

If you’re looking to streamline your marketing, finance, or internal communication efforts we’ve got an app for you!

 

Financial Tools

Keeping up with your finances can be one of the least fun parts about owning your business -- and, if you’re not careful, it can be one of the most time consuming.

MileIQ: Need to track your miles for tax purposes? The MilelQ app logs all of your drives and allows you to easily swipe left or right to categorize drives as work or personal.

Float: This cash flow forecasting app allows you to better predict the financial future of your company.

Quickbooks: Chances are, you’ve heard of Quickbooks. It’s accounting software specifically built for small business -- it’s essential for tracking your income, sending invoices, and managing your expenses.

Square: One of the easiest ways to accept chip + magstripe cards, Square is an app that pairs with a (free) card reader. It’s one of the easiest ways to accept POS payment!

PayPal: Send, accept, and request money with this online payment system. It connects with your bank account, and your information is secure and protected.
 

 

Marketing Tools

Now that we have your finances in place, we need to get you some new customers. These marketing tools will help you communicate effectively through every medium.

Hootsuite: Struggling to manage all of your social sites efficiently? Hootsuite allows you to manage all of your accounts one one screen. You can also schedule out your social media posts for multiple platforms at once, and track the results.

MailChimp: MailChimp is a cheap and easy email marketing platform that allows you to communicate with your customers. You can integrate the sign-up on your website to effortlessly collect email addresses, create branded templates, and send easily-trackable campaigns. If you want to learn more, check out our series on the benefits and basics of using MailChimp (here and here).

Canva: While we’re always in favor of bringing in a pro, we understand that sometimes you just need a quick fix. Canva is an easy app that allows you to create graphics for your business. There’s free templates for social media graphics, flyers, and more.

Hubspot: Hubspot’s a powerful inbound marketing software that helps you create powerful marketing materials, gather information, and convert leads into sales. It includes all the tools you need to market your business -- but may feel a little overwhelming for beginners.

Buzzsumo: Find out what your consumers really want! Buzzsumo helps you research your target audience so that you can ensure you’re spending time on the right content for your business.

 

Organization Tools

Organizing a team is no small task -- but luckily some of the best tools out there are meant to help you effectively manage your crew. Don’t count these tools out even if your business team only consists of just you! Project management apps can help you keep client work or new business initiatives intuitively organized.

17hats: Perfect for all the solopreneurs out there, 17hats cuts out the need for multiple apps. It simplifies everything and lets you keep track of your clients, projects, to do lists, calendar, workflow, templates and everything else all in one place.

Asana: If you’ve got a big team, Asana is the app for you. You can easily manage and assign tasks to different projects and teams. It cuts down on the need for unnecessary meetings and allows you to manage all of your to-do’s in one place.

Basecamp: A great alternative to Asana, Basecamp allows you to manage projects with a team. While Asana is our personal preference, the best thing to do is test out both apps for free and see what you prefer.

Evernote: A giant digital notebook, Evernote allows you to stay organized. You can store everything from big ideas to random musings in different digital notebooks. Add in images, audio, scanned documents, and files to keep everything organized. You can even forward emails to the different notebooks to keep everything in one place.

Wunderlist: Have a long to-do list? Wunderlist is a task management tool with a simple interface. It syncs to all of your devices so that you can easily check things off throughout the day.

Pocket: Ever spend hours looking for a link and wished you’d saved it? Pocket can help. Save everything and anything you come across on the web so that you can view it later.

IFTTT: An acronym for “If This Then That” this is a free web app that lets user automate web-based tasks. A little confused about what that means? That’s because it does almost anything!


 

Productivity Tools

It’s hard to stay on task when you’re feeling overwhelmed. These tools will help you keep your day-to-day routine on track!

30/30: A super simple task manager, this app guides you to work for 30 minutes/break for 30 minutes. It’s as simple as that!

FocusZen: Carefully engineered audio teaches your mind to block out all distractions and allow for maximum focus. The app also has timers for 10, 25, or 60 minutes of peace.

Spark: Emails can be a pain, especially unnecessary ones. This app collects and categorizes all of your emails so that they’re easy to process.

Slack: Slack is a cloud based messaging tool that promises to make you less busy by streamlining team communication.

RescueTime: RescueTime runs in the background to help you understand where your time goes from day-to-day. You can block distracting websites, set alerts for when you spend a certain amount of time on a task, and log highlights about what you accomplished.

Toggl: A ridiculously simple time tracker, Toggl lets you track your time per task so that you can recognize and improve it.

 

Misc

Google Apps: One of our personal obsessions, Google Apps are a powerful tool. You can create documents that are easily shareable, store files, comment on shared documents, and sooooooo much more. You can edit a document live with your team -- and it all syncs to your Drive. And -- purchasing an additional 100GB of extra space to store all your files starts at only $1.99 a month!

Skype: Have a remote client? Meet virtually with Skype and have a face-to-face conversation via your laptop or mobile device.

LastPass: Keep all of your passwords in one place with this password management app.

SignNow: A safe and effective way to get e-signatures in seconds from any device (for a very reasonable cost).

BidSketch: Use this tool to easily mix and match fees, projects, and conditions to create professional client proposals.

SurveyMonkey: Conduct free surveys and analyze the results with SurveyMonkey. With over 15 question types, you can easily gather information.



Don't be afraid to test out these different apps and see what works best for you -- finding just one tool that you love can make a big difference in your day-to-day efficiency! 

Tell us: which of these tools are you most eager to try? 

Friday Links: Breaking the Internet + All That

Oh Friday, we’ve missed you...  We’ll admit, we’re attached at the hip to our phone, so this week we’ve got links on social media, how to unplug, and a surprise throwback we’ve all wanted! Here’s a few articles to kickstart your weekend!

One  |  Did you know that Twitter celebrated its 10 year anniversary this week? To think, where would we be without these tweets that broke the Internet in the past 10 years?

Two  |  If you need some organizational help, check out these apps that will organize your life in no time. We love Trello!

Three  |  Promoting your website or blog is vital at any stage! For those new (and experienced), here are 10 tips to market your blog. (Hint: social media is a major key!)

Four  |  If you need a break from apps and social media, let’s get back to the books! If you’re in a reading slump, check out how to get out of your reading slump!

Five |  Nostalgia Alert! For all the 90’s babies, let’s rejoice! There’s an All That reunion!

 

 

Happy Weekend :)