15 Email Newsletter Examples We Love Getting in Our Inboxes

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When people first start doing email marketing, they often assume they need an email newsletter.

“It’ll have everything our customers care about, all in one place,” they rationalize. “Our list will be different — people will actually look forward to getting our newsletter,” they argue. “Since we’re only sending it once a month, it’ll be a breeze to put together,” they say.

And while all of those things may become true for a few lucky individuals, lots of email newsletters flop. They become an uninteresting mush of content people automatically ignore, archive, delete, or straight up unsubscribe from. And this isn’t great for you, your metrics, or your company’s success. Download our free guide to creating email newsletters people actually read  here. 

So if you’re thinking about creating an email newsletter, read this blog post and think really hard about whether that’s the right move for you in terms of your marketing strategy.

If you’ve decided that you want to start an email newsletter, or you want to revamp one that’s not performing well, keep on reading. We’ve compiled some of our absolute favorite email newsletters to inspire you to make the best email newsletter for your company possible.

Each newsletter on this list is fabulous for different reasons. Some have exceptional design, some have exceptional copy, some have exceptional calls-to-action … but all are exceptional at solving for their subscribers’ needs. Check ’em out.

15 Email Newsletter Samples to Inspire Your Own E-Newsletter Design Ideas

1) NextDraft

NextDraft is a daily email written by a man named Dave Pell, which is a curation of the best web content of the day. As Pell describes it, “Each morning I visit about fifty news sites and from that swirling nightmare of information quicksand, I pluck the top ten most fascinating items of the day, which I deliver with a fast, pithy wit that will make your computer device vibrate with delight.”

You can tell he’s a great writer. His copywriting is one of my favorite things about the newsletter. It starts with the subject line, which is usually a play on words or a clever one-liner on the top news of the day. It then extends to the body of the email itself, which is always descriptive, accurate, and clever. Finally, the minimalist design is fantastic.

Not only is content delivery is clear, organized, and digestible, but also the inclusion of social share buttons underneath each story is brilliant. Rather than assuming that the reader is going to make it to a social sharing option at the bottom of the newsletter, Pell provides them with multiple opportunities throughout. Social engagement can play a big role in growing your newsletter, as every share on social opens up a valuable opportunity to attract more subscribers. 

For those who’d rather read news like this in a mobile app, the NextDraft app is free in Apple’s app store.

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

2) Austin Kleon

Not to play favorites, but this newsletter from Austin Kleon is one I really look forward to. First, I love the simplicity. It’s not flashy, nor is it overly promotional. That’s the hallmark of a successful email newsletter: The most effective newsletters aim to educate, not sell. 

I also love the overall informal tone he takes, as it makes it feel as though you’re hearing from a friend. If you’re looking to lower the barrier between your company and your audience, consider using language that is friendly and inviting, not buttoned-up and jargony. 

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

3) InVision

InVision’s newsletter is a weekly digest of their best blog content, a roundup of their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt.

Not only is their newsletter a great mix of content, but I also love the nice balance between images and text, making it easy to read and mobile-friendly. They make great use of animated GIFs in their emails (which you can see when viewing the whole email here). I also love the clever copy on their call-to-action buttons:

  • “Cat GIFs on Every Page”
  • “Set Your Sights”
  • “Why So Serious?”

In addition to classic CTA buttons, they engage their audience at the bottom of every newsletter with a “You tell us!” text CTA.

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

4) Community.is

Community.is is a handcrafted newsletter created for people who “put people at the center of their work.” This unique concept attracts a variety of readers from executives at ad agencies, to community managers at startups, to marketers and creatives of all shapes and sizes. 

In an effort to cater to their melting pot of subscribers, Community.is adopted a three-tier format: Short, Mid, and Long. While an executive may only have time to skim the short stuff, a marketer might be looking for a more in-depth read to spark some inspiration for their next campaign. Organizing a newsletter in this way helps ensure that you’re serving the distinct needs of your audience without it being too confusing. 

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

5) Vox Sentences

Vox Sentences is a nightly email meant to quickly get its readers up to speed on the best stories from the day. The content ranges from the day’s top news to fun stories from all over the web. They do a great job balancing their own content with external sources, and the stories they choose are always really high quality.

You can read Vox’s entire newsletter from start to finish and get a great sense of the stories they’re covering — but you can also click through to any of the linked stories to get a more in-depth approach. 

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6) Fizzle

Fizzle’s newsletter is aimed at entrepreneurs who want weekly tips on building a business sent directly to their inbox. Although they have a business blog and a podcast, what makes Fizzle’s newsletter unique is that the email content is independent from those other content assets. In other words, it’s written entirely for their subscribers.

The copywriting style makes the newsletter unique and appealing, too: It’s casual, honest, and written like the author is writing to a friend. The writing gives off the vibe of real, down-to-earth business advice — without the fluffy stuff. At the same time, it’s written with clear headers and sub-headers to break it up, and the important stuff is bolded, making for easy skimming.

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7) TheSkimm

If you want to stay up on what’s happening in the world and have some delightful writing delivered to your inbox first thing in the morning, look no further than TheSkimm. It’s a daily roundup of what’s happened in the news in short, punch paragraphs.

The best part? You don’t have to click out of the email to read the news if you don’t want to — although they do link to their sources if you want to read further. And when it comes to more complex news topics (think: Brexit or the Cannes Film Festival), they’ll cover the most recent updates but link to their Skimm Guides, located on their website. These guides provide context for larger topics, and are written in the same style as the emails.

For your own email marketing, TheSkimm is the place to go if you’re looking for writing inspiration or for emails without much visual content. 

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

8) Medium

Medium is a blog-publishing platform that has been continuously building momentum since its launch in 2012. Publishing on the site has really picked up in the past few years, and nowadays, there are a ton of people publishing posts on the site every day.

Of course, that means there’s a lot of content for the average person to filter through. To help bring great content to the surface, Medium uses email newsletters. And after I open this newsletter every day, I end up going to visit several Medium posts without fail. (Mission accomplished for Medium, right?)

Here’s why: The newsletter feels pretty minimal. Because of the way that Medium uses colors and section dividers, they’re able to give you a ton of content in one email without it feeling overwhelming. Plus, they offer both a daily and a weekly version of the digest, allowing users to opt in for the email frequency they feel most comfortable with.

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9) BrainPickings

BrainPickings is one of the most interesting newsletters out there. In fact, the folks who write it call it an “interestingness digest.” Every Sunday morning, subscribers get the past week’s most unmissable articles about creativity, psychology, art, science, design, and philosophy — topics that are really appealing to a wide audience. At its core, it explores what it means to live a good life.

This is one of the longest newsletters I’ve ever read, but what makes it still work well is how high quality and well packaged the content is.

(Bonus: Check out the delightful microcopy in the top right-hand corner.)

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

10) Litmus

You’d hope that an email marketing testing company would have great emails … and Litmus definitely does. While the content of the emails is certainly interesting, I’m especially digging the design. The blocks of color help break up the newsletter into sections that are easy to differentiate.

I also like that the text calls-to-action at the end of each post’s description don’t just say something generic, like “Read this post.” Instead, they are matched with specific actions related to the post’s content, like “Get the checklist” and “Discover why you should test.”

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

11) General Assembly

There are a lot of creative things you can do with images in your emails, from designing your own custom graphics to creating animated GIFs. General Assembly, an organization that helps expand professionals’ skill sets, likes to employ tactics like these in their newsletter.

From their attractive and minimal layout to their concise copy and helpful information, this is a great example of a newsletter that gives subscribers quick information in an easily scannable format.

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

12) This.

This. (yes, the full stop is part of the brand name) is another great newsletter for finding — and sharing — the best and most entertaining content on the web. What makes their newsletter unique is that it isn’t just content curated by one person or one team; it’s content curated by a community of people on the internet.

Members are allowed to share one, single link every day — presumably the best content they find the entire day. The result? “We’ve built something we hope will connect you to the best the web has to offer — all its weirdness and beauty and diversity and ambition,” reads the website.

The newsletter consists of the editor’s picks from all the amazing content their community members have shared. Subscribers also have the option of signing up for a custom newsletter, which includes the editor’s picks and a custom feed from curators they can pick and choose. That’s some pretty cool personalization.

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13) SaaS Weekly

This is the ultimate SaaS newsletter, from a guy that kind of knows a thing or two about SaaS. (Hiten Shah is the co-founder of and ). 

While his approach is simple, this roundup is packed with value and organized in a way that makes it easy to discover content around your specific interests. Shah does this by breaking the list of curated posts into different sections — Business, Product, Marketing Growth, Tip of the Week, etc. — which makes it easily scannable.

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

14) The Ringer

Remember Grantland, the sports and pop culture blog owned by ESPN that was started by sports journalist Bill Simmons? In October 2015, ESPN announced it would be ending the publication of Grantland. Shortly thereafter, Simmons formed Bill Simmon Media Group and recruited a whole bunch of former Grantland staffers to launch a brand new newsletter in March 2016 called The Ringer.

Although The Ringer is written and run by many former Grantland employees it’s a different project than Grantland was. Where Grantland focused on sports and pop culture, The Ringer branches out into other areas like tech and politics. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, is among the contributors. I like how focused they are on experimentation: “We want to have fun, take chances, analyze, theorize, obsess, and try not to take ourselves too seriously,” said Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey.

Another differentiator? The Ringer’s website was developed in partnership with publishing platform Medium — which means the newsletter reflects that clean, minimal design.

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

15) Hacker Newsletter

Many marketers don’t frequent Hacker News, but they should still check out this hand-picked curation of the social network’s top stories of the day.

Why? The newsletter is clean and minimal, but still sends a ton of really great content its subscribers’ way. The way it distills potentially overwhelming information is by bucketing content into sections. The newsletter also looks very similar to the site, so for those who love the site and how it’s laid out, the newsletter feels like a comforting, familiar way to consume content.

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[Click here to see the entire email.]

Even though newsletters are one of the most common types of emails to send, they are actually some of the hardest to do right. We hope these examples gave you some quality inspiration so you can create newsletters your subscribers love to get in their inboxes.

Which email newsletters do you love? Share your favorite ones with us in the comments so we can keep the inspiration going.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

free guide to creating email newsletters

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-newsletter-examples-list

How Real Brands Are Retaining Customers: 8 Strategies From Starbucks, Amazon & More

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What’s better than acquiring a new customer?

If your first thought was “retaining a current customer” then your strategic thinking is in the right place. While there’s a certain allure that comes with capturing new customers, keeping customers coming back will continually result in a greater ROI.

How do you create a customer retention strategy that keeps your current customers engaged?

Below, I’ve detailed eight retention strategies that the biggest brands are currently using to inspire loyalty. From leveraging convenience to prioritizing personalization, these are elements any marketer and business owner can take and test today.

8 Examples of Customer Retention Strategies in Action

1) TOMS: Begin with a mission.

Sometimes a brand inspires loyalty not through tactics and systems, but through what they stand for.

If you’ve ever watched Simon Sinek’s TED talk “Start with Why,” you probably already know a thing or two about the importance of having a mission, or “reason why.”

TOMS has built their entire business model around making the world a better place. As Fast Company contributor Jessica Weiss put it:

TOMS669 has integrated old-fashioned, for-profit entrepreneurship with new-wave, bleeding-heart philanthropy.”

The way they do this is in their “One for One” policy. For every pair of shoes that are purchased, they give a pair to people in need, thus far donating over 60 million pairs of new shoes.

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As consumers, we’re focused on the altruistic and environmental effects that our buying habits have beyond consumption. Doing good is becoming more and more important to us.

This doesn’t mean you should build your marketing around an altruistic message just to do it. The lesson is in finding something that people care about and positioning your brand around it.

2) Starbucks: Empower customers with convenience.

The coffee goliath has always been innovative with their marketing, especially in the customer acquisition department.

In the early days, Starbucks founders Zev Siegl, Jerry Baldwin, and Gordon Bowker focused on the sounds and the smells inside their shops in order to provide a delightful customer experience.

But to grow, they had to get innovative. One of their most innovative customer retention moves is their Mobile Order & Pay feature within their app. Thanks to the new feature, customers can order their coffee before they even arrive at the shop.

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Image Credit: AskMen

What’d their customers think about the addition? In short: They loved it.

669″Just this morning I parked at my kid’s school, placed my order in the parking lot, took him inside, then walked over to the Starbucks and picked up my drink. Mobile Order & Pay can cut 10 minutes out of my morning routine. I told my boss that it’s the reason I’m actually on time for work now,” explained busy mom Danielle Lesikar.

The simplest takeaway here is this: make your products and services as accessible as possible. Identify the desires and behaviors of your customers and create tools and systems that empower them. Whether that be an app or other traditional methods, it’s up to you.

3) Tesco: Add a personal touch.

This supermarket giant has a strong presence in the UK, with over 2,000 stores nationwide.

For huge brands like these, coming across as authentic and human can be a challenge. Online grocery shopping and self-service scanners are convenient, but people still like dealing with other people.

Customer service is still necessary, and the folks at Tesco have chosen to use Twitter as a way of executing this with a human touch. They show they care by adding personality to their interactions with customers. Check out this recent interaction:

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To get started with an approach like this, identify your audience personas and communicate with them on their preferred channels. It doesn’t matter if it’s email or Snapchat, as long as it’s where their attention is.

From here you should encourage your customers to speak directly with you through that channel. Make it part of your messaging and remind them during and after the buying experience.

And always add personality to every message. Nobody likes a robot, so make sure whatever you’re communicating sounds like it’s coming from a human.

4) R&G Technologies: Speak to your customers.

We’ve taken a look at several B2C examples, but what about the B2B world? R&G Technologies is an Australian IT support firm that has developed strong, long-term relationships with their clients.

They solidify these relationships with rapid response times and strict SLAs. They get back to their clients quickly, and their employees have been bought in on this by tying these KPIs to how much they earn.

However, the biggest lesson is in their customer satisfaction surveys. They give their clients an opportunity to express what they’re doing right and, more importantly, what they’re getting wrong. This allows them to identify unhappy customers before they churn.

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Image Credit: Client Heartbeat

R&G focuses heavily on asking the right questions in order to gain insights they can execute on. They use this information to make better business decisions and retain customers.

Most importantly, these discussions identify the challenges of R&G’s audience. This can help inform both your overall marketing as well as your retention strategy. Don’t underestimate the power of one-to-one conversations with your clients (especially if you’re running a digital business).

5) MeUndies: Use gamification and referral programs.

Touted as the most comfortable pair of underwear in the world, MeUndies drives great retention through two elements. The first, which we’ve already covered, is in their “reason why.”

The folks at MeUndies were tired of the struggle that comes with finding a great, comfortable pair of underwear. To back this up, they’ve fostered a strong culture and are very transparent with the process. They have an entire page dedicated to their factory (it’s beautiful by the way).

Although this makes for great retention, our focus is on their clever referral program. Customers are encouraged from the moment they purchase to refer a friend, and the rewards are worth it: For every friend you refer you get $20 and they get 20% off their first purchase.

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There’s a gamification element that shows how far through the buying experience your friend is, too, including a “nudge” button. If a friend adds a product to the cart but hasn’t completed checkout, you can use this to send an email reminder about it. In other words, MeUndies has found a way to use their current customers to reduce cart abandonement, while providing social proof in the process.

When done well, referral systems can be really effective for retention. The key is to focus on strong incentives and gamification to get people invested. Most importantly, don’t forget to empower and encourage your customers to become advocates for your brand in the process.

6) Apple: Create a divide between you and your competitors.

Want your customers to see you as the obvious choice over your competitors? Make note of Apple’s strategy, demonstrated by their 669“Mac vs. PC” ad campaign.

The campaign starred John Hodgman as the inept PC and Justin Long as the cool, collected Mac. The two would quip humorously over what made the Mac a better choice than a PC in a really entertaining manner.

The “Mac vs. PC” campaign was a very tongue-in-cheek — and it generated a lot of dispute. Not only that, but it divided the market and set Apple apart from their competitors by identifying the kind of consumers who should buy Apple products.

Sticking true to who you are as a brand shows integrity and makes it easier to attract customers that just might become your strongest brand advocates.

Can you find a cause to fight for (or against)? If your brand is more friendly than this, you can still put some fire behind your story and create a rally affect. Don’t be afraid to be a little bold in your marketing to get the best results from this approach.

7) Amazon Prime: Use subscriptions to bolster the experience.

It’s unusual for a commodity-based organization to implement a subscription service into their business model.

Which is exactly what Amazon created in the form of Prime. The subscription was originally created to bring customers faster delivery. It generated a lot of controversy, but quickly became popular with regular shoppers on the platform.

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Since its launch they’ve added other benefits, such as access to Amazon’s Instant Video platform. It’s a move that seems costly, but is actually a strategic play. It’s estimated that Amazon loses $1-2 billion in revenue every year, however that’s easily made up for by the increase in purchases.

How can you use subscriptions to achieve growth goals and increase customer retention?

You don’t need to charge a fee for your subscription model in order to gain customer loyalty. Providing benefits in the form of exclusive content and events is another way to leverage this approach without spending a ton.

If you’re going to take a page directly from Amazon’s playbook, then make sure you’re offering something people want. This goes back to customer development and understanding your audience’s desires and challenges.

8) Coca-Cola: Use experiences to elicit positive feelings.

Experiential marketing has long been used as a way for brands to create positive sentiments with their customers.

Coca-Cola had a 70-day campaign around the 2012 Olympics, and part of this was their “Coca-Cola Beat Generator” app. This experience brought together music, sports and the Coca-Cola brand.

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Image Credit: Figment Productions

They showcased it during their roadshow around the Olympics, using samples and sounds from the games themselves. Users could then take the MP3 recording with them and share it via social media. The results? 16,500 visits to the web version and 1.78 million Facebook impressions.

Even though Coca-Cola produces beverages, they figured out a way to tap into the positive hype around an event by providing delightful customer experiences that reached beyond point of sale.

Look for ways to create positive feelings in the form of new experiences outside of your main products, services, and value propositions.

Which of these customer retention strategies could you implement? Are there other examples we’ve missed? Share with us in the comments.

how to use customer loyalty programs

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/customer-retention-strategies

Why Content Marketing Volume is Increasing but Engagement Isn’t (and What You Can Do About It)

Content Marketing VolumeWhen content marketing first arrived on the marketing scene, it was novel, innovative and pushed the norms of traditional marketing. The idea of inbound marketing seemed outrageous. Letting the customers come to us? Marketers with years of practice in cold calls and direct mail questioned if generating content and letting their audiences find it would even work.

With refinement and thoughtful strategy, inbound marketing generated more leads, conversions and increased brand reach. This, of course, was aided by the advancement of technology and the increase in the number of platforms for communicating with customers. With the huge increase in content marketing volume, it was much easier for customers to find new companies on their own terms.

This explosion of success drove all types of businesses to start creating content to inform customers, engage prospects and contribute to the overall industry conversation. The growth in popularity caused a huge surge in the amount of content flooding the Web. Brands started believing that the medium of delivering content was smart because now customers could consume it at such fast rates, allowing them to take in even more information than previously possible.

Why More Channels Doesn’t Equal More Engagement

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As content marketing volume continued to rise, engagement rates stagnated. More options did not mean people would consume more. A recent TrackMaven study found that the amount of content produced last year rose 34%, but engagement decreased 17%. In their words, this engagement crisis is similar to the television offering phenomenon.

The number of channels the average viewer chooses from has dramatically increased over the years, but the amount they actually watch remains the same. This trend proves that people are only willing to consume as much content as they can handle and nothing more, even with more options available.

The amount of content marketing is not going to decrease any time soon, so brands hoping to become one of their customers’ chosen outlets for information need to have a strong strategy for their content, messaging and customer journey.

The better companies understand their customers’ needs, the better they can target content appropriately. There are a few ways to reach customers most effectively, but using the tactic of personalization is particularly successful.

Using Personalization for Good

Personalization is nearly ubiquitous within marketing, with 94% agreeing it is important and 85% of brands using at least the most basic form. The challenge is using it in a way that customers feel comfortable with and aggregating real-time results for instant application.

A survey of marketers using personalization found that 40% can’t gain insight quickly enough, 39% don’t have enough data and 38% worry about inaccurate data. Despite these challenges, marketers overcome the obstacles to implement real acumen into their content. The ones who do find they have on average a 19% lift in sales.

When customers feel the content they are consuming is both relevant and informative, they return for more. One sure-fire way to create relevant and informative content to your specific customers is to learn what else they consume, what they respond to and what they look for in their content.

It also helps to identify each touchpoint of the buyer’s journey that can be tailored with specific information you’ve collected. For example, if your customers enjoy commenting on LinkedIn posts and sharing articles on Facebook, you can retarget them in these places based on what they are already interested in.

Start with consistent trends among your audience to avoid the challenge of keeping up with changing preferences. Once you have a handle on foundational personalization, you can adapt to the most current reality of your customers’ habits.

Control for Change

Personalization is knowing more than where your customers spend time and what topics they are likely to click on. It’s also being aware of what is related to their interests, so you can recommend additional content and lead them down the funnel. The most important aspect at any point of the content journey and the use of personalization is giving customers some amount of control.

While 60% of customers are aware personalization plays a role in the online content they consume, 29% prefer to have little control and 41% prefer to have a great deal of control over how brands use this tactic. The levels of control you can offer include privacy controls, voluntary information forms with options of what a customer can give you and choosing their own content journey. This requires you to tailor your content to different demographics if you are trying to reach a broad audience.

Control doesn’t sacrifice personalization for your purposes, but simply puts the power in your customers’ hands, which can be beneficial to you. Trustworthiness and an established relationship emerge from giving customers control, leading you to have a transparent personalization process for more effective results.

Content Types for Success

Before gracing the industry with your content or producing more ineffective blogs and social, you should determine the types of content worth generating and what is likely to promote engagement.

You want to avoid the dry, lifeless content that so many companies are guilty of throwing online. The following content formats should help stop the decreasing engagement rate right in its tracks:

  • Short and sweet. Bounce rates are the kiss of death in online marketing. Most people only read about 50% of an online article before leaving the page. But if you limit your blog posts to half the length of a typical blog, you’ll see an increase in lingering visitors and potential conversions.
  • Questions and answers. On social media, if you are asking questions that are probably going through your customers’ minds, make sure to give them an answer. Lead them to your site to discover an in-depth answer to any question, no matter how small.
  • Community forums. People love to share their own opinions more than anything. It’s why companies with community forums see so much success in engagement. Cultivating and monitoring the community is also a great place for content inspiration.
  • Anything with visuals or interactive elements is instantly going to grab your prospects. Use them thoughtfully and creatively to make a splash with your innovative content.

Infusing these formats with the insights gained from personalization creates a real connection between your brand and customers.

To escape the engagement crisis that is resulting from the surge in content marketing volume,  you can collect information from your customers with their control and apply it to content better suited for interaction. This tactic is no task larger than adjusting your sails in the winds of change.

Then you will be prepared to navigate the marketing space with intelligence, wisdom and ingenuity.

Inbound Marketing Case Study

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/why-content-marketing-volume-is-increasing-but-engagement-isnt

Hive shines a light on the connected home with new campaign

Hive, a British Gas innovation, has today announced the launch of its new brand marketing campaign – entitled ‘Your Home Comes Alive with Hive’. Going live this week and next across radio, OOH, digital and print, the new campaign showcases the breadth of Hive products now available, such as Hive Active LightTM and Hive Active [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/06/hive-shines-a-light-on-the-connected-home-with-new-campaign/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hive-shines-a-light-on-the-connected-home-with-new-campaign

Awards are more than just a trophy, they deliver higher ROI too – DMA reserach

Last night London’s Blue Fin Building played host to the launch of the DMA Awards 2016, where the DMA also revealed its latest insight into what it takes and means to be an award winner. The research into the last 4 years of DMA Award entries reveals that a win can mean much more than [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/06/awards-are-more-than-just-a-trophy-they-deliver-higher-roi-too-dma-reserach/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=awards-are-more-than-just-a-trophy-they-deliver-higher-roi-too-dma-reserach

New iProspect Consult practice to drive business success in the digital economy

iProspect has today launched its Consult practice, as part of its long-term mission to drive business performance in the digital economy. Designed to offer specialist consultancy on marketing technology, experiences and audience activation, while also helping clients structure themselves to stay ahead. The business is already working with Wickes and Diageo. Consult helps deliver a [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/06/new-iprospect-consult-practice-to-drive-business-success-in-the-digital-economy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-iprospect-consult-practice-to-drive-business-success-in-the-digital-economy

Why We ‘Overspent’ on Our Website (And You Should, Too)

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As you plan a new website — or updates to an existing one — you may wish the sky was the limit. Unfortunately, we are all faced with the same monetary Catch-22. There is a limit to what can be spent, even if there is no limit on what can be done.

As you contemplate the development of your website, you’ll have to ask the familiar question, “How much should we spend?”

The answer to that timeless question is never easy. There are always trade-offs, as we discovered at my firm, Hinge, when redesigning our website not too long ago.

We could have gone with an off-the-shelf system, but we knew that every change down the road would require more assistance from a developer. So we made the very deliberate decision to invest in optimizing our site from the start. We developed a modular system of templates that allow significant flexibility without the need for constant help from our web developers. We also took advantage of filtering and content categorization tools to dynamically link different data sets (lists of authors, topics, etc.) in a variety of places on the site.

But perhaps the most important investment was integrating our website with our customer relationship management (CRM) platform — as well as a host of other online platforms. This integration ensures we get the most out of every online interaction and allows us to maximize the relationship with prospects and qualified leads.

Some may think we overspent, but when you look at the rationale and return, it makes perfect business sense.

The Reason for a Redesign

There are many reasons to redesign a website. The aesthetics may be dated. It may not have the most recent mobile-friendly, responsive design features. It may lack a few must-have features, like a blog, landing pages with lead generation offers, or integration with your CRM or marketing automation software. And your content may no longer reflect changes in your services.

Newer technology may also make it much easier to maintain your site and keep the design looking fresh. Most importantly, there are always opportunities to improve your site’s user experience.

But the real reason for a redesign is ROI.

A company website — even in the professional services — can attract a significant amount of new business. In our case, more than 80% of our new business comes through our website.

If you consider your website investment in this light, it is easy to see the fault in our earlier question, “How much should we spend?” The question you really should be asking is, “How much can we productively spend?”

What do we mean by “productively”? Well, if you earn $10 for every $1 you invest, you will want to invest as much as you possibly can. What you need to know is when does the incremental investment no longer generate a positive return. Be bold, but plan carefully.

Making a Poor Impression

It takes courage to invest heavily in your website. So it is not surprising that most B2B companies are drawn to a seemingly more conservative approach: Reduce the risk by spending less.

Great, you saved a few thousand dollars. But what have you lost? According to Hinge’s recent Referral Marketing Study, more than 50% of people who are referred to a B2B services firm will rule out that provider because their website reflected poorly on them. Cheap websites almost always make poor impressions.

How many new clients do you need to lose before the savings start to feel like a liability?

Planning Your Budget

Most firms have only a vague notion of what a new website should cost. They tend to think only about the direct expenses. They overlook the value of research and message development, for example. How can you find the right balance?

The best place to start is to calculate your minimal low-cost scenario. In other words, what is the least you could spend and “get by.” You can easily spend 3-5 times that amount before you run any danger of over-investing. In our own case, we spent 10 times that minimum and in retrospect, not a penny was wasted.

As with any professional service, you’ll get better results when you work with a firm that knows what it is doing. That means reaching out to a firm that has the web design, user experience, project management, online strategy, SEO, social media, and lead nurturing chops to turn your investment into high quality leads and new revenues. This kind of expertise may cost a bit more up front, but you’ll see the investment in a sophisticated new website can make real dollars and sense.

Smaller Budgets Don’t Minimize Risk

Many firms believe that minimizing the budget reduces risk. It’s understandable to want to minimize cost — but it’s a trap. You are favoring short-term spending over long-term returns. And that’s rarely a good strategy.

If you stop to consider what a competent marketing website should be able to deliver over the long term — a steady flow of high-quality leads — you’ll understand that it doesn’t take many new clients to pay for your entire investment.

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/overspent-on-website