How to optimize email campaign content when relying on marketing automation software.

Today’s era of business is exceptionally fast-paced. Modern marketers have become spread thin due to historically recent advances in technology and online community. To say that time is of the essence would be an understatement, but with so many web publications and news feeds updating us with the same information all at once, it seems competition is less about the source and more about the content. (more…)

JustUno and ActiveCampaign’s Panties.com case study

Problem

Going into 2014, Panties.com CEO, Lila Williams, decided that social media marketing would become a major strategy moving forward to grow revenue, and that in particular, she wanted to focus on growing her email subscribers. Their natural fan acquisition rate hovered around 30 emails a month, or, about 1 new email subscriber a day. Our initial analysis showed that, despite tools such as “Follow us on Facebook” or “Submit your email for weekly deals”, the Fan Acquisition Rate (FAR) was lower than desired. A new, faster acquisition would be required to hit Panties.com’s lofty 2014 goals.

Decision

The Panties.com CEO decided that faster social fan base growth would help Panties.com hit their 2014 revenue goals. Ms. Williams decided to work with two providers: one social engagement platform, and one email marketing automation provider (Justuno and Active Campaign, respectively). Panties.com aimed to grow its social audience, while also reducing shopping cart abandonment rates, using Justuno Social Incentives on her website (www.Panties.com). After the email address was acquired, Active Campaign would be used to drip a series of two emails once the email address was obtained. These emails were focused on customer engagement and obtaining more information about the individual contacts. The case study was run over the 30-day period of November 27th – December 27th, 2013.

The three parties drafted up a plan of action: Justuno would provide the social incentives “hook” on the homepage, and active Campaign would manage the email campaign after the email was captured by the Justuno Social Marketing Widget. Panties.com would retain the creative portion of this effort, and came up with a clever Holiday campaign: “PantyClaus has a list, and he’s checking it twice. Have you been naughty or nice?”

Results

As you notice form the graph above, there was as a dramatic spike in volume of new subscribers during the time period involving the case study. During the previous month, which is our comparison time frame, there were 30 new subscribers for an average of .97 subscribers per day. While during the time of the case study (same length as previous months measurement), there were 285 new contacts who signed up which is a 843.33% increase over the previous month. Additionally (not seen in graph), customers who had previously been on other lists were able to re-engage and sign up for the JustUno special discount. The JustUno widget netted 196 contacts who were already in the panties.com data base, providing opportunity for rengagement. In total, 481 contacts signed up to join the new mailing list; an increase of 1483% over the previous month. Again, this includes contacts who have already been other other mailing lists, but it was a viable sales opportunity with both new and existing contacts.

With all of the data being gathered, the high number of new subscribers would be an exceptional month of sign ups for any email marketer, and there are a couple of macro reasons which can be associated with this. The case study was launched just before Black Friday and ran through Christmas, and the Christmas season is obviously a great time to run specials. It should be noted that the highest day of the month for subscriptions was Cyber Monday. Typically the results from JustUno’s sign up widget are expected to be about a 300%-400% increase over the previous results seen through a generic subscription form. With that being said, panties.com has continued to use JustUno and within four weeks they are right on track to be within the 500% range greater than the month prior to the case study.

As a bit of a side note, we saw tremendous results with the automated series ActiveCampaign designed as follow ups to the case study. Our first email went out immediately after subscription with a call to action of requesting more information beyond a simple email address. This campaign had a 65.30% open rate and a 28.13% interaction rate with our call to action. Once the call to action was acted upon, a second email was sent with a reminder of the discount code, and several links back to the panities.com website.

This campaign had an 87.76% open rate. Not only was the overall list building efforts a success, the follow ups were as well.

Summary

ActiveCampaign continuously strives to build the best platform possible. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to partner with companies like JustUno who have a specific area of focus which complements the ActiveCampaign platform. In the short time of a month, an ActiveCampaign customer was able to successfully increase the size of their contact list at a dramatically higher rate than previously possible through the implementations of our JustUno integration which was the entire goal of this case study. The rapid rate of list growth through a the JustUno subscription form far exceeded the initial expectations had and proved to be an incredibly strong indication of what can be accomplished when a powerful 3rd party platform is properly integrated in ActiveCampaign.

 

12 Contest Ideas for 2014 That Can Grow Your Email List

When you offer a downloadable pdf or a redeemable coupon in exchange for subscriber data, you are in effect bribing potential subscribers, in order to grab their attention.

The next level of bribing is running contests and sweepstakes! As co-founder of Antavo, a lead-generation platform I have seen a lot of good examples.Consider these the Big Bribing Brothers of pdf-s and coupons. (more…)

Subscribe by SMS now available & free

You can now offer people the option to subscribe to your list(s) via SMS message.

Here is how it works:

  1. You promote a phone number and a keyword.
  2. Users send a text message containing your custom keyword to the phone number we provide you.
  3. They receive a text back asking for their email address.
  4. The contact replies to that message and is added to your list.

To get started simply login to your account, click on Lists, and then find “Subscribe by text message” in the “Integrations” menu for the list you wish to use.   This is a free feature for all paid plans.

Hundreds of new integrations are now available

We have teamed up with Zapier (who has been connecting over 250 web apps) to provide a seamless in-app experience for all ActiveCampaign users. This means that you (and your users) get the full power of Zapier without needing to pay for a Zapier account or have a separate login area on their website to manage your integrations.

Everything is done within your ActiveCampaign account. Simply pick what you wish to integrate, authenticate with that external service, and you are set to go! All of the integrations continuously run to automate your syncing of data.

Here is just a sampling of the services we now integrate with:
  • DynamoDB
  • Appointlet
  • Base CRM
  • Chargeover
  • Chargify
  • Clertim CRM
  • Close.io
  • Desk
  • Eventbrite
  • Evernote
  • Fluidsurveys
  • Formdesk
  • Formstack
  • Formitize
  • Freeagent
  • GotoMeeting
  • GotoTraining
  • GotoWebinar
  • Google Glass
  • Gravity Forms
  • Gumroad
  • Inboundnow
  • Instantcustomer
  • Jotform
  • Jumplead
  • Keepintouch
  • MSSQL
  • MySQL
  • Mojo Help Desk
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Nutshell CRM
  • Onepage CRM
  • Pipeliner
  • Podio
  • PostgreSQL
  • Quickbase
  • Quickbooks
  • Recurly
  • Samange
  • Solve360
  • Stripe
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Tendersupport
  • Uservoice
  • Vision Helpdesk
  • Woocommerce
  • Xero
  • Many more…

How many integrations are allowed?

Free & trial accounts are allowed up to 3 integrations. Small business accounts are allowed up to 15. Enterprise accounts allow unlimited integrations. We are not charging extra for any of our plans to utilize this new feature.

Out with the old and in with the new

With this change we will be removing the current MySQL, MSSQL, and PostgreSQL sync feature. It wasn’t an automatic import so by replacing it with our set of integrations (which will include those databases) you get even more power out of connecting with those databases.

Gmail is caching images… We’re happy about it.

You may have already heard that Gmail is starting to cache images.  Everyone seems to have their own opinion.  Some are writing sensationalized headlines claiming it is the end of email marketing as we know it.  Others say its much to do about nothing.    So what does it really mean and how will it affect you?

We can still track opens/reads

The caching of images is taking place when the contact opens your email.  Not when Gmail receives it.  Gmail has to fetch the image at that time so we are able to track the open/read.

We can’t track the contact’s GEO location with opens

Since Gmail is downloading the image we can’t determine the contacts location from the open alone.  We can however determine it once they interact (click a link), subscribe through forms, visit your site, etc..

It’s harder to track multiple opens/reads from the same contact (but it may not matter)

Since Gmail is caching the image they only need to fetch it once.  While there is some confusion over the cache life and methods to try to get around caching, we would not track two opens if a contact opens the email multiple times within a couple minutes.  Over time the cache would clear (5 minutes, hours, days?) and we would record that they opened that email again.  
UPDATE: We are once again able to track multiple opens/reads without any issues now.

It doesn’t affect everything (so far)

Email clients that use IMAP (such as the Apple mail app) are not affected by this.  We have only seen this with the Gmail web interface so far.

This may be a good thing…

Gmail is making it pretty clear that they care about a contacts privacy.  By caching, nobody can grab referring information (IP, user agent, etc..) and you can open emails with images without being exposed.  At the same time Gmail is making it fairly clear that they are OK with open receipts.  So much so that displaying images will be the new default option within Gmail (without having to click to display images)
That means we will have a much more reliable unique open rate as going forward the default setting will be to always show images without requiring your contacts to click to display images.

Attentive.ly brings social media and email marketing closer than ever!

As most people who are serious about digital marketing know, there is huge advantage to being able to connect various marketing channels together in order to paint a better picture of what is taking place with your contacts. The reason this is so valuable is that it increases the effectiveness of your interactions with contacts. ActiveCampaign has always been a firm believer that email marketing and social media were destined to work with each other, and although we have social media integrations, we’re not a social media company at our core… So, in stepped Attentive.ly! (more…)

Integrate ActiveCampaign with WHMCS

We are very excited to announce an integration with WHMCS for reseller functionality! The integration (which was developed and managed by a 3rd party) features include:

  1. Fully manage your ActiveCampaign reseller accounts directly through WHMCS.
  2. Set your own product pricing through the WHMCS control panel.
  3. cPanel users can have custom domains created for reseller accounts for true brand identity.

This integration is available now from 123Coders in the WHMCS app store. Please refer to the developer’s site for questions and support.

WordPress Plugin Update

We’ve updated our WordPress plugin to make it easier to embed your forms onto a post or page. You can still paste the ActiveCampaign shortcode anywhere, and now you can also choose it from the toolbar:

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The form you click will appear as a shortcode in the post body. This way you don’t need to know the form ID, or copy/paste the shortcode from the settings page.

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Note: You’ll still need to connect to your ActiveCampaign account from the settings page and choose what forms you want to use.

When the page is loaded on the public side, the subscription form will appear in place of the shortcode!

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Let us know if we can improve our WordPress integration any further.

Tag your contacts

We just introduced a new way to categorize, segment, and explore your contacts…. Tags.

Our custom fields allow you to store anything about your contact’s using a name and value concept.  There are times you may prefer to only have an identifer that is on or off for contact’s without the need of all the power/options fields have to offer.  Tags allow you to do just that and are very free-form.  There is no need to set options for the tags; simply tag a contact with whatever you want, whenever you want.  The free-form nature of tags allow you to quickly categorize contacts, use tag data in your automation work-flow, and segmenting your lists.

How to add tags to contacts:

  • Contact view page
    When viewing a contact you can see all their existing tags and add new tags to the contact

  • One-time automations
    From the automations page you can have tags created based on triggered events
  • As part of automated series
    Add a tag as part of your automation logic/work flow in an automated series

How to use tags:

  • Segments
    Narrow down your lists to only contacts that have (or do not have) specific tags
  • Conditional content
    Show personalized content within a single email based on whether or not tags exist
  • Automations
    Within automated series you can add conditions to only do things if they have specific tags