Zoho offers a suite of online web applications geared towards increasing your productivity and offering easy collaboration. Zoho's online office tools include a word processor, spreadsheet application, presentation tool, hosted wiki, notebook, CRM, Database software etc
Password protection is a convenient way for website owners to restrict the access of any users viewing their site. Let’s say you’re publishing a confidential website you don’t want the public to see. You can enable password protection to hide the pages and files in your website. This password can be provided to any users who are allowed to access this content.
Zoho Sites now provides website password protection, one of our most sought-after features. You can now restrict access to pages and files by simply enabling passwords for them.
Here are a few other scenarios where you can use password protection:
Create a site for personal reasons and share it with an exclusive group. An example of this might be a website built just for friends and family with protected pages where they can share pictures and have discussions.
Create an area on your site that can only be accessed by paying members. This might come in handy for a company like an exclusive gym or spa or any other organization that offers different access at various price points.
Password protect content that is not suitable for all audiences. This will help you hide pages that are inappropriate for younger audiences. You can also protect the pages you’ve written that are not ready to share with everyone.
Build a site that provides educational material and resources for your class. Share the password with students to provide content with restrictive access.
If you are an artist or photographer, you can upload your work on your website and share it with clients. This is convenient as you don’t need to upload your work on a random cloud storage provider.
It’s definitely not necessary for you to password protect every site you build, but rest assured that the option is available any time you feel the need to add that extra layer of protection to your site. The best part about enabling password protection on your Zoho Sites website is that it doesn’t require any plugin or setup procedures. Build sensational, stunning, and secured websites on Zoho Sites today! Visit help.zohosites.com to learn more.
Here’s a blog piece by Izabelle Hundrev from G2, a B2B review marketplace for software and services. She specializes in sales, marketing, and real estate content. After earning a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Izabelle moved back to her hometown of Chicago, where she currently resides.
Expert Diaries from Zoho Campaigns connects avid email marketers to the experts in this space, and help them learn some best practices and tips. We’re kickstarting this with some thoughts on how to liven up the your efforts over the next half of this year, helping you perform #SmartEmailMarketing.
Email has proven to be an effective marketing tool for decades. It helps brands drive traffic, nurture leads, and, ultimately, drive sales.
But now more than ever, buyers in the digital age are flooded with messaging across all applicable channels. Marketers face a new challenge: how to cut through the noise.
As we’re rounding up the first half of this year, there’s no time left to waste. Over the next six months, it’s important to look at through a different lens and focus your efforts on strategies that are proven to deliver measurable results.
An effective email marketing campaign can take many forms (newsletter, nurture campaign, etc.) but should have a strong tactical foundation. In this article, we’ll cover five email marketing strategies to implement that will help you push the envelope and convert more buyers into paying customers.
Email allows you to cast a wide net and connect with your audience in an easy and accessible way. But that doesn’t mean you should target all of your subscribers with the same messaging. Think about it: different people value and care about different things. Someone who just started their own small business has different problems than an executive at a Fortune 500 company. While both of these personas might fit within your target audience, you need to speak to them differently.
This is where audience segmentation comes in. By segmenting your audience into different email lists, you can still reach a lot of people at once, but the messaging will be more relevant to them. How you decide to segment your audience will ultimately be up to you. You can build out email lists based on demographics, level of engagement, or even what stage of the funnel your prospects are in.
The reason audience segmentation is so effective is because it makes an email campaign more personalized. Everybody wants to feel special, and if a brand is able to make you feel like you’re not just another email on their list, you form a stronger connection to that company and their message.
There are a lot of ways in which marketers can make their email marketing campaigns more personalized. Small touches like switching up the subject line to include the recipient’s name or including a name in the “from” field can make a big difference. Show your subscribers that you value them as individuals and not just for their wallets.
Unless your business only serves a local market, there’s a good chance that your audience doesn’t live in the same time zone. After all, what’s the point of sending a carefully-crafted email if your recipient is asleep when they receive it?
If you check existing research about the best time to send an email, you’ll notice that the results are varied. The truth is there isn’t a universally accepted time that will ensure your email is opened and read. The workaround is that you can test which times work best for your specific audience.
First, start with timezones to make sure you’re hitting your target audience during daytime hours. From there, it’s best to conduct A/B testing to determine which times of the day and days of the week will yield the highest open rates.
Optimize email content for mobile
The days of having access to email only on a desktop are long gone. Nowadays, most people use their smartphone to keep tabs on just about every aspect of their daily life. If the content of the emails that you’re sending isn’t easily readable on a mobile device, you might have a major problem in your hands. To be frank, it’s just bad email marketing.
Luckily, this is easily preventable. When looking at an email inbox on a smartphone, you’ll notice that each message has three major components: the name of the sender, a subject line, and pre-text. There’s a good chance these elements are the only thing the recipient will see before they decide to click on your email or delete it altogether, so you’ll want to make sure they’re optimized to fit the mobile experience.
Another factor to remember is the size and formatting of your email once it’s opened. If the reader is enticed enough to open your message, you don’t want them to delete it because it’s too difficult to read on their phone.
Use technology to your advantage
The final piece of the puzzle is finding the right technology to help you execute. If you pair these email marketing strategies with the correct software tools, you’ll be on your way to converting email subscribers to loyal customers in no time.
plays a big role in running a successful email campaign. Users can create email lists, make custom templates, and send emails in bulk with the click of a button. In addition to helping you be more efficient, an email marketing solution will provide you with valuable data to track your campaigns and their performance in real time. You can track bounce and click-through rates, as well as the number of users that unsubscribed from your campaign. These insights are valuable when it comes to deciding which campaigns to keep and which ones to get rid of.
There’s no silver bullet when it comes to email marketing, but you can do your best to find out what works for your brand and audience. By following these five email marketing strategies, you’ll be able to fully maximize your efforts in no time.
It’s a question that keeps popping up from time to time, is it a social media site for professionals?
Is it a platform for job seekers and recruiters to meet?
A place for us to be updated on what our peer group is working on?
Is it a place to find the latest news, reflections, and opinions on our areas of interests?
Is this a place where I can generate quality leads?
The answer to all of the above is a resounding yes.
Fascinating right? In fact, we can point to the exact moment when the website stopped just being a professional platform and started becoming much more.
Rewind to 2013, when LinkedIn rounded up an elite set—professionals, leaders, C-suite executives, and thought leaders, and invited them to publish on their platform. The initial set of writers included Bill Gates and Richard Branson. In a few years, it would become a habit for professionals-either to search for inspiration, news, recruits or even new business opportunities. In fact it already is.
LinkedIn now boasts over 500 million users and has become the best place on the internet to share content and connect with businesses.
Wait, this is not the history of how LinkedIn evolved as a platform and how it ultimately got acquired by Microsoft.
It’s a great story, but it is probably for another day.
What we want to speak about is how LinkedIn can be leveraged as a platform that can propel B2B business- build a brand and generate quality leads.
This article will cover how to:
Create a complete LinkedIn profile and business pages that attracts relevant traffic
Engage effectively with communities
Become a thought leader and a voice to be heard in your space
Generate quality leads by effective targeting
If you are still unconvinced about the fastest growing professional platform on the planet, we advise you to stay because what’s coming ahead will surely be useful.
Social Media Marketing
To understand LinkedIn as a platform, let’s start with where social media marketing stands within the stream of digital marketing.
Not long ago, in a previous post we stressed the point on how partner organizations can develop their own digital marketing framework. Social media marketing is one of the most visible and crucial aspects of digital marketing. This visibility is backed by good numbers: a recent study estimates that at least 75% of Business-to-Business (or B2B) buyers use social media to support purchase decisions, the percentage was even found to be more in C-level executives.
Social media is also a great interface between the business and the consumer. It helps support teams to get to know what the consumer likes and dislikes, acts as a channel for immediate customer service and—more importantly—feedback. It’s these interactions that make marketing in the digital world fascinating.
These social media platforms have built-in tools to measure various parameters like traffic, engagement, and ad spend. There are also multiple third-party social media monitoring tools that offer even more power-packed features to step up your marketing.
What marketing can I do on LinkedIn?
Most readers are familiar with the main features LinkedIn offers, but for those just getting started on the marketing aspects of the social media, we have a checklist and most of what we can do on this platform is for free. Great? Let’s dive in.
Start with a complete business profile
Seems a no-brainer right?
Someone said that the good website in the digital world is akin to an inviting shop window, which nudges the visitor to take a closer look; this saying could very well apply to your firm’s LinkedIn pages as well.
A completed LinkedIn company page has the potential to attract 30% more views
Your organization’s page doesn’t need to be formal and dull. There is a lot of space to explore creatively, starting with the header image, “hero image” as it is also known, and the description. The description is not just a concise way of communicating your company’s value but also a way to insert relevant search terms that your potential customers can search for.
Now a word about about Showcase Pages
Showcase pages are a special subset available on LinkedIn, the secret is that not many businesses utilize them. They can be thought of as extensions to your main business page. Brands usually use these to showcase a specific sub-brand or service.
At any given point in time, we can create up to 10 showcase pages(imagine the possibilities!), and LinkedIn has an internal system to validate the authenticity of the created pages.
The benefits of showcase pages are multi-fold
Tell your customer about your specific expertise
Share unique content related to your service
For example, you could create one of these as a page where you can display your Zoho service offerings.Note that you have to create a business page first to create a showcase page.
Click on Work Icon > Create a company page > Create a showcase page
A word about LinkedIn Profiles
But wait, LinkedIn isn’t only about making an impact with your business page alone, especially in this age of personal branding.
More often than not, potential customers drift into your or your employees’ personal pages. So it’s helpful to have a completed personal LinkedIn profile that offers the most relevant information.
A good LinkedIn profile should provide
An engaging headline- It should be short but catch readers’ interest and inform them about your specializations.
A career summary that sustains the interest about your organization. Don’t forget to include relevant keywords that customers would use to find your business.
Rich media and links that tell your career story.
Engage better with communities
Network effects have been identified to scale a product or service. LinkedIn which also incorporates the fundamentals of network effects has built-in communities and groups.
There are groups for every foreseeable need, especially in the B2B space. Even if you are looking for something as specific as Retail Associations in your locality, there is bound to be a LinkedIn group for it. The perfect ground for you and your firm employees to meet prospects and to look at what their current needs and aspirations are.
How to find and join the best groups on LinkedIn:
Narrow down your prospect. (Do a little bit of analysis on where, and more importantly, which industry they’re in)
Search for such keywords on the LinkedIn Groups directory
Each group will have their own rules, and as a member you would have to adhere to them.
It is always best not to advertise, and focus on building trust instead
How to be great at conversations on LinkedIn groups:
Listen in: There is a good probability that there are already conversations running in the groups of your choice. Look for opportunities where your expertise would add value.
Observe the trends (local and global) and the variety of issues that are shared in the group.
Ask the right questions
Reach Out : if you have the solution to an expressed need
While this might seem like a long-winded process, the efforts are bound to provide compounding results. As per network effects, in an engaged network the good word and goodwill gets passed around sooner than you think. Before you realize there is a growing list of people reaching out to you for help- in other words: leads.
Become a thought leader
So here comes a big truth bomb. LinkedIn is underrated as a blogging and knowledge sharing platform. The way businesses are growing on the internet, it has become almost a necessity for most executives to do a bit of writing or some form of content creation.
Thought leadership that readers pick up are the ones that provides rare personal insight that is not otherwise available to them—essentially the very opposite of internet click bait.
You can start by sharing your experiences and lessons from your consulting career, the highs and lows of running a SaaS business, reflections on local and global business trends, experience on exhibiting in trade shows—the possibilities are endless.
Thought leadership is not attained singularly but acknowledged by an informed readership especially in an increasingly noisy world.
Sustained writing and sharing is the way to build a readership. If you do have an impediment of not being able allocate time and resources for your LinkedIn posts, you could look at re-purposing content from your existing company blog and testimonials.
A distinguishing feature of LinkedIn is the ability share documents and slides through the platform. Conveniently, these can be shared by means of a status or on your company page.
You can share case studies, infographics, presentation decks, and other informative content that your organization has classified as publicly shareable. Start sharing and keep an eye on those who actively engage with your posts.
Generate leads through easy-to-create ads
LinkedIn also has its own marketing platform which growing firms can utilize. Being a professional network, this can be used to target decision makers. For starters, the LinkedIn search is a powerful tool which offers multiple filters that help you narrow down your leads.
Here listed below are few of the possibilities that you can explore on LinkedIn:
Promote your content through Sponsored Content
Send personalized messages to LinkedIn users through a feature called Sponsored InMail
Generate leads through text ads
Convert leads through highly customizable lead gen forms
The advertising solutions can be optioned once you have your business profile on LinkedIn set up, and you can also choose between CPC (cost per click) and CPM (in which LinkedIn charges you when 1000 people have seen your ad). You can zero in on your targeting based on the type of ads you choose.
In fact, users can target their ads based on multiple filters as specific as
and lots more. For B2B marketers on your team, it is the ultimate playground to experiment with different ad sets.
A starting point would be to look at creating simple ads around training, webinars, events that you might have in your calendar, or even your latest blog post.
There’s still a lot of potential that could be explored on LinkedIn. We didn’t touch upon some of them, including hiring the right talent and showcasing internal company culture, which do not directly fall under the purview of this article.
We hope Partners will pursue LinkedIn as a marketing and lead generation engine, and those who have already started to would make efforts to realize its full potential. This is a platform to which people come for the learning and hence creating useful content around your space will make you stand out.
If you are already using LinkedIn as a platform, then let us know by commenting about your experiences with it.
Mobile app usage has been on a steady upward trend for years. With so much demand for our attention, mobile users have come to expect significant productivity gains if they’re going to download—and keep—a new app on their mobile device.
Recognising this, we’ve worked hard to incorporate all of the powerful features of Zoho Show’s web interface into our Android version, without increasing the complexity of the presentation building process. Now, with the smartphone in your pocket, you’re presentation ready, no matter where you are. The Show mobile app has you covered, from designing your presentation to collaborating with colleagues to delivering your slide deck to an eager audience.
Design to impress
For some presenters, design doesn’t come as easily as writing does. Especially when there’s a potential deal on the line, it’s important to show up to every meeting with a clear, polished deck. Now, with the Zoho show app for Android, you can create a professional aesthetic on your smartphone. Got a last minute presentation to give while you’re on a business trip? No problem. Just grab your smartphone, access the Show app and get a head start by choosing from an extensive range of themes and fonts. Also, insert effective charts or use shapes and images with a touch of animation to keep your audience engaged.
Collaborate with ease
Working as a team just got easier with the Zoho Show Android app. Invite, share and collaborate remotely with your team or other business associates no matter where they are. Limit file access to control who can view and edit your presentations by assigning roles to collaborators. Also, stay connected with your team by getting real-time notifications on your smartphone when any edit or modification is made to the presentation.
Present the smart way
Switch to wireless and say goodbye to all those common presentation hassles: setting up a projector, checking network connections, and untangling cables. With the Zoho Show app for Android, just connect your smartphone to a nearby Android TV and start streaming your presentation to a larger audience. You can also transform your mobile phone into a smart remote by casting your device to a TV using Chromecast.
Try using the Zoho Show app on your smartphone and never compromise on collaboration, convenience, and creativity while presenting.
The European Union and the UK government have agreed to keep the UK a part of the European Union for the time being. But there is still a lot of uncertainty about how the UK is going to handle its VAT processes once the UK leaves the EU.
Currently, the UK’s VAT procedure is in compliance with the EU VAT code. However, with the UK expected to leave the EU, the VAT procedure is subject to change.
When Parliament approves a withdrawal plan and the UK leaves the EU, your business should be ready to handle your taxes in this transitional period in case of a no-deal Brexit.
Accounting for Import VAT
Import VAT is the tax paid on goods purchased from other countries.
Under the current scenario, UK businesses account for their imported goods when, or right after, the goods arrive at the UK border.
In the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’, the government will introduce postponed accounting for import VAT on goods brought into the UK. This will allow VAT-registered UK businesses to bring goods into the UK from both the EU and non-EU countries. The businesses can account for any import VAT due on their VAT return, rather than paying it at the time the goods enter the country.
Business-to-Business Supplies of Services
Presently, UK businesses selling telecom, broadcasting, and digital services (e.g., software applications, streaming services, or e-materials) to EU consumers have the option of accessing the UK’s MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) portal to account for VAT on these digital sales.
MOSS is an online portal that allows EU businesses that sell digital services to consumers in other EU member states to report their VAT without having to register in each EU country. Businesses that are not part of the EU can also access the portal by registering in an EU member state.
If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, businesses will no longer be able to use the UK’s MOSS portal to report and pay VAT on sales of digital services to consumers in the EU.
Businesses that want to continue to use the MOSS system will need to register for the VAT MOSS non-union scheme in an EU member state. This can only be done after the date the UK leaves the EU.
EU VAT Refund Claims
Under the current VAT laws, UK businesses submit their claims through the EU VAT refund online portal. Businesses that have registered in any of the EU member countries can claim VAT refunds even if they were incurred in another member state.
In case of a no-deal Brexit, the HMRC will close the UK portal for new claims after the UK leaves the EU. After that, UK businesses claiming VAT in an EU country must apply to that particular EU member state directly.
Current VAT Rules vs. Changes to VAT after a No-Deal Brexit
Domestic VAT within the UK is unlikely to change following Brexit. There should be nothing in the Brexit decisions that requires changes for purely domestic businesses, and VAT rates are also unlikely to change.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government will introduce postponed accounting for import VAT on goods brought into the UK.
Use of the UK Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) portal for digital services will cease and businesses wishing to continue using MOSS will need to register in the relevant EU member state.
These VAT implications are subject to change until the UK and the EU come to a final agreement. In the meantime, it’s vital for business owners to be prepared and keep an eye out for the latest news about VAT.
When tax laws change, it can get quite tricky to file your returns, You can ease the burden of filing VAT returns with Zoho Books, which is equipped for VAT compliance. Zoho Books can help you to calculate the tax you owe, create VAT reports, and track the VAT you’ve paid and reclaimed with HMRC.
This is a guest post by Aditi Bainss, Content Strategist at JustCall.
Sales teams work tirelessly to convert leads into customers and generate revenue for the company. Traditionally, salespeople have to go through the manual labor of dialing a contact’s number, waiting for them to pick up the call, and then proceeding with the conversation.
While on the call, it is vital to keep taking timely notes of every minute detail. This helps not only in maintaining a complete and thorough profile about the client, but also in referring back to this information in case of any issues in the future. This work, however, is highly manual. It not only takes a high level of multitasking from the salesperson, but also opens up various scopes of error. The salesperson might forget some particular detail about the call while jotting down notes after the call has ended.
Manual dialing a contact also takes up loads of precious time. These few seconds do not seem like much at the face of it, but if one considers the huge number of sales calls a salesperson makes in a day and then refer back to the seconds lost in manually bringing out the contact information about the client and dialing their number, this figure turns out to be huge.
Auto Dialer: The Ultimate Cloud Telephony Hero
An Auto Dialer fixes exactly this issue. Auto Dialer enables you to automatically dial a contact number at just the click of a button, right from Zoho CRM. It even empowers you to leave messages or voicemails, thus allowing you to stay in touch with your clients even if they aren’t available currently.
It bypasses the need to dial numbers manually and helps you save vital seconds. This not only reduces the amount of time and extra effort but also increases productivity at work. As long as your Internet connection is good and stable, your call will not get disconnected. This helps increase call connect ratio by several figures.
Moreover, to keep track of everything that has been talked about during the call, you no longer need to keep taking down notes. It provides you with a call recording feature that records your entire conversation for you to refer back to later.
Additionally, once your call concludes, you can add disposition notes to your conversation and type out your thoughts or the next step of actions you would like to associate with the call. All this information gets logged together in a single interface with the customer’s previous information, making it very easy to access.
What’s more interesting is that it also allows you to create a queue to assign calls to alternate salespeople in case the primary contact person is not available to take the call. This way it saves a lot of time for both your company and your client. Someone would always be there to pick up the incoming call.
By enabling you to make calls at the swift click of a button, record calls, take down notes after the call, and assign calls to alternate salespeople on the team, an Auto Dialer sure does supercharge your team’s workflows.
With a lot of time and effort saved, smoother workflows, increased productivity, and faster information flow, customers are sure to be happy. Boost your team’s productivity and grow your business effortlessly by incorporating an Auto Dialer into your daily workflows.
Sending the perfect email campaign isn’t just a dream—it can even become a habit when you start adopting the right measures. Last week, we discussed five effective waysthat help you perform smart email marketing—thorough testing of emails, delivering emails at the optimal open times, batching of emails before delivery, handling the key email delivery metrics, and previewing emails prior to sending.
Now, let’s look at the next set of tips that’ll help you smarten up your email marketing efforts and how Zoho Campaigns can help you put them into practice.
Adapting to perspective-based personalization
There’s a lot of difference between creating emails and creating relevant emails. The term relevant doesn’t just mean sending personalized content that a recipient wants, but doing it consistently and flexibly. There are times when your recipients’ preferences might change and their topics might differ; during those times, it’s important for your brand to reach out to them with the right content they need at that moment.
It’s time to create emails that speak to each reader in their own terms—the way they want to see your brand’s content in their inboxes. From providing their favorite deals to helping them sign up for the product of their choice, your emails and newsletters will have to dynamically cater to your recipients in the best way possible.
Dynamic Content from Zoho Campaigns helps you target multiple sections of the audience at the same time, but in a way that’s relevant for each of them. Using this tool, you’ll be able to tailor a single campaign with a variety of content, images, and calls-to-action—each specific to the corresponding audience set. For example, the same email can contain a $5 discount coupon for the new customers, a $10 coupon for your regular customers, and can be coupon-less for another section of the audience—all sent at once!
Creating informed and interactive emails
If email was your contact book, how would you want your audience to fill their details up? This question might sound quirky, but actually, your emails can do the job of getting more information from your recipients. To send the most interactive emails, you need to know and understand your audience well, and that’s possible only when you find the right means to collect information from your recipients.
With every email you send on behalf of your brand, make sure to focus on your audience’s interest and gather more information that can set the path for you to personalize your emails further.
Email Polls in Zoho Campaigns lets you attach polls in emails so that they can speak for your brand. With the help of question, number, and rating-based polls, quickly gather opinions, feedback, interests, suggestions, and everything you’ll need to set up targeted campaigns in the future.
Automatically segmenting your target audience
What do you do when you have a list with customers from a couple of regions and want to send separate email campaigns? Well, the first thing is to segment them manually, put them into groups, and then send the emails. But what happens when your mailing list contains people from, say, 50 countries? Would you still prefer creating manual segments? Obviously not. In those situations, you’d need a tool to save time while still successfully segmenting.
Zoho Campaigns provides Bulk Segmentation that lets you instantly create multiple segments within a mailing list based on the criteria you provide. Once you decide the segmentation attribute—say Country, Industry, Plan Type, Month of Purchase, and so on—you’ll have segments that are automatically created for you, even if it has to be the 50 country-based segments as in the earlier scenario.
Hearing your recipients virtually
As you create and send out emails, it’s important to consider how recipients will react to them. More often than not, you’ll see recipients replying to emails and showing an interest in your brand or its offerings. Smart marketers don’t let go of the chance to track what their recipients’ responses are.
Instead of manually garnering hundreds of replies to your email campaigns, the smart way is to set up a sentiment analysis to find out how many of the recipients who replied were happy, indifferent, or dissatisfied with your content. This saves time and groups recipients according to their satisfaction levels so you can view them from distinct angles.
The Reply Tracking feature from Zoho Campaigns helps you gather all the responses to your email campaigns and lets you sentimentally categorize them. Good, bad, neutral—you’re now better informed about the campaign performance, not just in terms of deliverability metrics, but through recipients’ voices too.
Finding the right email cadence
Email sending is not a one-off activity—it requires mindful practices before every attempt. One important practice is to know when and when not to send emails. It’s understandable that as a brand you are tempted to send emails that keep your subscribers hooked, but it’s crucial to avoid being a potential spammer.
Perfect emails don’t overwhelm the recipients’ mailboxes. At the same time, they’re not only sent once in a blue moon. Finding the right balance is important. This proves that every brand should come up with their own ways of email engagement—the days that work, the times when emails should be sent, and the times to avoid.
There’s not one pattern that fits every brand, so there are unique email-sending patterns for different people. For example, sending three emails per week might work for ‘Brand A’ while sending three emails over 12 days might work for ‘Brand B’ and so on.
With Zoho Campaigns, define your way of sending emails using the Email Policy option. This tool allows you to select the number of emails to be sent from your account based on daily, weekly, or monthly schedules. You can even have the email pattern monitored by the admin so that no other user will be allowed to forge email sending or attempt sending emails that are off the cycle.
We hope that our #SmartEmailMarketingblog series helps you learn some easy and simple ways to spruce up your marketing efforts and achieve the best results. Got some more ways in your mind? Do share them in the comments section below!
Email marketing is seen as an integral element of engagement for most of today’s digital businesses. While sending emails still takes the primary focus for most of us, delivering emails successfully to recipients’ inboxes is catching up the top position too.
So it’s not just sending an email campaign that can ensure a place for it in a recipient’s mail folder. There are other methods to make your emails “smart” and “intelligent” in a way that they not only land safely but also don’t get lost in the long trail of other emails in your contacts’ inboxes.
With Zoho Campaigns, you can create and send emails that are personalized in both content and time of delivery, interactive, tested for open rates and clicks, spam-compliant, and extremely relevant and consumable to every contact who receives them.
Let’s look at some ways you can perform smarter email marketing and how Zoho Campaigns can make this process easy.
Testing that’s impact-driven and not imperfectly driven
It’s common wanting to run an experiment to test different versions of your email, but it’s important to list your reasons before you do. Ask yourself the following questions:
Why do you want to run this experiment?
What variables are you comparing?
What is the end goal and which is this the winning version?
A/B testing for emails is the best way to find out which type of email has more impact on your audience. Where people get A/B testing wrong is by not running a test at all before sending an email (when it’s highly required) and running imperfect testing by comparing wrong attributes (when it’s not recommended). Don’t forget that A and B are just versions that need to differ by the same attribute. A meaningful result will only come when you try to compare relevant versions.
With A/B Testing from Zoho Campaigns, you’re able to test emails for different attributes like subject line, sender address, and email content. With the ability to pick your own decision criteria for selecting the winning version of the email, you can have the entire experiment run under your control without being data-blinded.
Sending emails when a recipient is most active
What if every email you send is opened instantly by your recipient? It sounds like magic, but it’s really just metrics! Understanding your recipients’ prime open times will help you deliver emails that get noticed.
Time calibration plays a key role in estimating the time during which a particular email that you send will be opened by a contact who receives it. Your contacts may have subscribed to multiple brands and are likely to receive a sizeable chunk of emails every day. What can differentiate your email from the rest is when you choose to make that email appear in their inboxes.
Using Zoho Campaigns’ Send Time Optimization, you can make sure to send emails to your mailing list contacts at the exact time each of them will be active. This time will be unique for each contact, so, in simple terms, you’re now able to personalize the time of email delivery!
Safeguarding your domain reputation with email splitting
All of us are aware of this simple science—the more air filling a balloon, the more chances of it bursting. Imagine the same scenario but with your mail server in the place of the balloon. Sending bulk emails is fine, but what matters more is how you’re handling the bulk. The bulkier your email sending gets, the riskier your sender reputation becomes.
Sending too many emails at the same time can strain your server and make your domain look inauthentic. The best way to prevent this is by splitting your huge email numbers into smaller batches and sending each batch at periodic time intervals.
Zoho Campaigns’ Batch Send option helps you conveniently split your mailing list—and your emails—into multiple batches, as well as letting you define the time period between the delivery of each email batch. This also gives you room to study the performance of each set of emails and optimize them further for the next set.
Handling of bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints
The health of your mailing list and the overall performance of an email campaign depends on three primary metrics: bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints. These terms are as crucial as other performance measuring units like open and click rates.
A high bounce rate clearly indicates the inability to deliver your emails, which in turn shows that your mailing list is unhealthy and doesn’t contain contacts from authentic/trusted sources. Unsubscriptions happen due to a variety of reasons, the most common being a lack of interest in the brand, irrelevant engagement, spam experiences, change in reading preference, and so on.
Similar to unsubscribing from a list, people can also mark emails as spam. When the unsubscribe process is complicated, recipients tend to mark specific emails as spam with the expectation being they won’t receive any further emails from the sender. A holistic maintenance of all these three metrics is essential for smooth email delivery.
Zoho Campaigns provides automatic handling of bounces (soft and hard bounces), unsubscribes, and spam complaints so you don’t have to stress about managing these for every email campaign. Also, when a sender is exceeding their bounce rate or spam complaints, we automatically notify them in order to help them get back on track with some best practices.
Seeing emails the way your recipients would
Today’s online buying process has been revolutionary, but it hasn’t given up on one thing—the catalogue. Buying decisions are still based on product images. Buyers still want a sneak-peek at what they can expect from the product.
It’s the same case with your emails. Previewing emails before sending them to recipients helps you not only proofread the various email elements, but also get an idea about how your email will look in the their inboxes. This will reduce human errors as well as help you seamlessly deliver emails across multiple email clients, devices, and browsing platforms.
Email Preview within Zoho Campaigns lets you send test emails to yourself so you can monitor email functionalities before sending them to your mailing list. Users with Litmus credits can use the credit-based test previews of emails, making sure to deliver the best email engagement possible.
Want to know more ways to perform smart email marketing? Stay tuned for our next blog in the #SmartEmailMarketing series!
When it comes to a company’s revenue growth, both sales and marketing teams have an equal share of the responsibility. However, the challenge for a marketer or a sales rep is this: how to align both teams’ processes to maximize output?
Where marketers help in sales enablement and finding the best set of leads, sales professionals act upon these leads, thereby realizing all those marketing efforts. Ultimately, both teams strive to boost a brand’s success in its most tangible form—revenue generation. So it’s ideal for marketers and sales professionals to work together without hassles.
For many companies, though, this move is still just a dream. For the ones that tried to unify their sales and marketing processes, challenges arose.
Recently, though, a solution to simplify the sales/marketing communication and process flow arrived: Marketing Automation.
Marketing automation can bring teams together
Here’s how marketing automation can help establish a smooth and structured way to blend your sales and marketing processes:
Setting up touchpoints to identify sources that contribute to your brand’s overall success. Understanding the top sources that perform well for you in turn simplifies your lead generation activities.
Knowing the platforms and channels that generate your revenue. Investing your budget in multiple platforms is great, but figuring out which ones drive more revenue is crucial. This helps you optimize your campaign expenditure.
Using web behavior analytics to gauge your audience’s interests. Studying audiences’ online behavioral patterns can help you quickly map their further engagement journey. Set goals for various actions and see how much your leads are capable of achieving.
Setting up personalized content journeys for different types of leads. This makes your marketing process more targeted, helping you send messages across multiple channels.
Categorizing leads into different stages based on their engagement levels. To make the pipeline easier for your sales team, qualify the best leads using tools like scoring and tagging. This way, you help your sales rep close more deals in a much shorter time than expected.
Maximizing your marketing efforts of lead qualification. While your sales team works to capture the best bets, the conversion cycle is easy as your reps know what kind of engagement works for every unique lead. This enables them to add more meaning to the marketing process.
The main advantage of marketing automation is that your sales team will be aware of your marketing moves, which includes them learning where your leads come from, what they want, and how they’re converted into customers. This bridges the information gap that otherwise hinders the orchestrated functioning of the marketing and sales teams.
Marketing automation software like Zoho MarketingHub can seamlessly combine the functions of your marketing and sales teams and achieve your revenue goals as planned. MarketingHub’s integrations with other CRM platforms let you handle data across multiple platforms and make sure that your marketers and sales professionals are always in-the-know about everything.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, on an average, we’re spending more than a quarter of our week at work. But working longer does not mean we’re getting more productive if we’re too tired and distracted. It is not entirely possible to avoid distractions at work. Instead, why not try to make our time at work fun, fulfilling, and worthwhile by being mindful of what’s going on around us?
But first, what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment—being fully aware of what’s going on around you, and paying attention to your thoughts. An essential skill that mindfulness brings with is learning to turn away from distractions and focus on what’s important right now.
For starters, it does sound like a bookish concept that claims to bring a welcome change in your work routine. But what’s reassuring is that anyone can make this practice work, if they learn how to focus.
Benefits of mindfulness at work
We’ve laid out a few simple practices that will help you be mindful and bring some zen to your work environment!
Establishing a routine
A significant morning routine is important to get your day off to a good start. Interestingly, the human body’s circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle which establishes the human wake and sleep cycle, is a key influence in your everyday productivity.
Plan your day ahead
The human brain processes information effectively when data is presented as lists!
We cannot emphasize this enough and turns out we’re not the only one who enjoy making to-do lists. Studies show that the human brain processes information spatially and in chunks, and a list is the most effective way for the brain to receive and organize information effectively. Not just that, planning your day ahead will give a perspective on how you can manage your day-to-day tasks.
Find focus amidst chaos
We seem to be surrounded by a deluge of ideas, emails, day-to-day tasks, and apps that enhance our workplace productivity. Even apps that help us work faster can be distractions when we’re trying to focus on something else.
Associate every task with a purpose to find focus.
Determining why you’re working on something helps focus on the task. Ask simple, yet effective questions to yourself, what can you do about this? Why did this happen?
Set boundaries and cut yourself off from distractions until the task at hand is completed. It can be anything from not checking your phone, muting notifications on apps you’re not actively using, or even placing a Do not disturb sign at your workspace.
Do one thing at a time
While multi-tasking is the buzzword in tech right now, it kills focus. Juggling different projects and tasks at a time will lead us to think we’re getting more done, but as we reflect back on our work week, there will not be much accomplished.
Given how much everyone values depth and expertise today, it is crucial to build the level of focus and concentration to go with it. The best way is to approach one task at a time with undivided attention and not jump to anything else until the task at hand is complete.
Take scheduled time-outs
Work anywhere between 60-90 minutes and step away from your desk for a short break
Sometimes we sit tied to our desk for hours trying to get things done—stretch ourselves until we feel empty. We’re all guilty of not taking enough breaks at work because it would mean putting work on hold—a good ten minutes that might instead help finish up this task! Contradictory to what most people say, a nonstop workflow will simply take a toll on our mental energy giving in to chronic stress and burn out.
The best solution is to work anywhere between 60-90 minutes and take scheduled short getaways from your desk for 15-20 mins. Get the most of your break by taking a walk outside, meditating, or a quick nap. That will work wonders on your exhausted mind.
Practice bursts of rapid communication
Communicating in rapid bursts helps teams work more effectively, as opposed to the common thought that constant communication helps employees stay aligned.
A study by Harvard Business School revealed that we’re more likely to be productive when we try collaborating intermittently. This is more like the idea of collaborating together on one topic in one go, thereby making sure everyone is actively involved and focussed. A great way to make sure you have a space to bounce off ideas with your team is by creating channels or group chats in your team communication software. You can simply set up a time and let everyone know, so they prioritize appropriately and are constructive contributors.
Slow down to speed up
Most of us get trapped in a vicious cycle of rushing and trying to get too many things done, thereby creating anxiety, costing time and effort.
Run the risk of slowing down and take time to do it right the first time.
Separate your work items based on priority and complexity, think about what you’d like to achieve and the time you need to make that happen and get started! Work out a blueprint of all the work items, think through the dependency, and once you have a clear vision, speed up the execution.
Mindfulness is more than just practice. It’s a way of living. It makes us more aware of the present and cuts down needless stress. If you want to spark innovation and give your best at everything you do, then it’s time to start practicing mindfulness.