Getting back to The Office

According to Michael Scott, “Real business is done on paper.” Considering we help companies send more than 180 billion personalized emails every year, however, we have other opinions.

Regardless of how you do business, though, the last year has been full of changes. After all, who thought you’d be balancing Wi-Fi priorities between your work and school Zoom calls? Or that you’d forget what wearing pants all day feels like?

We’ve been away from work for so long that many of us have forgotten our favorite parts about office culture. So, how will things like Casual Friday, coworker gossip, and coffee breaks change as a result of this ‘new normal?’

 

The Future of Work?

The truth is, nobody has all the answers. So, we asked two of our favorite accountants to lead Back to The Office: An Evening with Dunder Mifflin’s Finest. And while Chili’s wasn’t at 100% capacity yet, this virtual experience still brought Kevin, Oscar, and hundreds of marketers together to discuss the future of office life.

If you weren’t there, you missed out on an intimate, hour-long Q&A session with Brian Baumgartner and Oscar Nunez that covered topics like:

  • The art of prop comedy
  • What they’ve both been learning and doing at home during the pandemic
  • Untold, behind-the-scenes stories from the set of The Office
  • Their predictions about the future of office culture

 

Fortunately, for the next month you can access our full recording of this experience. Simply click here, enter ‘dundies’ into the password prompt, sit back, and enjoy!

woman with cell

HTML Email Image Map Support and Suggestions

Given current conditions in which images are very often blocked in email messages, image maps seem to be an odd technique to pursue. Because, when your source image is blocked, your links are no longer functional.

 

HTML Email Image Map Support and Suggestions

That’s a fundamental accessibility issue. However, the CM Group of brands receive frequent inquiries about image maps, so we decided to test them out for people who are curious.

What is an image map?

An image map includes a graphic with a series of code. This code contains special coordinates for links so that clicking on different parts of the image takes you to unique links.

For example, you could take an image that contains multiple plates of food from your restaurant. Clicking on each dish might take the user to unique landing pages designed to list the ingredients of each meal.

When should you use an HTML image map?

Although they can look nice when done right, it takes a long time to design and code an HTML image map when there are so many other options available.

Image maps come with another significant drawback where email marketing is concerned: they aren’t responsive.

Over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices now, so it’s important to design emails that look great on every device and in every email client. Image maps rely on a static set of code for both the image and the links to work in unison. Your email might function as intended on a desktop browser, but, if someone opens it from their phone, the links probably won’t match up in the right places.

There are so many possibilities for incorporating beautiful graphics and links into your email campaigns that there’s really no need to use image maps.

This email from Toms, for example, contains an interactive yet responsive image.

This email from Toms, for example, contains an interactive yet responsive image.

Source: Really Good Emails

If you must use an HTML image map, do your homework to figure out which devices subscribers use to open emails. Once you have that information, you can design a series of image maps that are specifically coded to function correctly on each email client and device.

HTML email image map support: How do you make an image map?

It’s pretty easy to make an HTML image map with minimal coding knowledge.

You need a static image (the size cannot change at any point once you get started), links to landing pages, and invisible shapes to lay over the image which will contain the links.

The most challenging part is figuring out the coordinates of where to place the link’s invisible shape or click-zone. You can figure this out manually by opening something like Microsoft paint, hovering your mouse over different areas of the image, and jotting down the coordinates. Or you can plug your image into this free generator.

Don’t forget the most crucial aspect of HTML email image map support: testing to make sure your campaign looks perfect with every email client.

What are HTML elements used to make an image map?

Once you figure out the coordinates, the coding is pretty simple. You’ll just use these three basic elements:

  • Img: the URL of the image
  • Area: the code for clickable space and shapes
  • Map: the link map containing various clickable shapes

HTML email and image map support: the results

Remarkably, email clients offered good support for image maps. Moreover, what’s more surprising is that many clients retain the functionality of the links, even with images off. Following is a table which exhibits how popular email clients handled the image maps.

 

Client

Functions With Images On  

Functions With Images Off
.Mac Yes Yes
Yahoo! Mail Yes No
Yahoo! Mail Classic Yes No
AOL Webmail Yes Yes
Gmail No No
Windows Live Hotmail   Yes No
Apple Mail Yes Yes
Thunderbird Yes Yes
Penelope (Eudora 8) Yes Yes
Outlook 2007 Yes Yes
Outlook 2003 Yes Yes
Outlook Express Yes Yes
Windows Live Mail Yes Yes
Lotus Notes 8 Yes Yes
Entourage Yes No

 

Our recommendation

The results indicate that it’s not a good idea to use image maps. Specifically, because of the following issues:

  • The frequency in which images are disabled
  • Image maps and their respective images don’t marry well and pose accessibility issues for those visually impaired
  • Gmail—a very popular email client—doesn’t support them consistently (they do not work when using Safari)
  • They aren’t responsive.

If you really want to try it, do your research on HTML email image map support across different clients and design unique image maps for specific apps.

 

Are you ready to design stunning emails with images and links that look beautiful on any device? Get in touch with our team today to see how Delivra can level up your email campaigns.

Woman writing on whiteboard

Increase Automation and Control

Send Frequency Control

Knowing the right frequency for sending emails to customers can be difficult. As an email marketer, how many marketing emails should you send a month? And as a consumer, at what number of emails do you become annoyed and unengaged? 

The goal should be to touch base with customers/prospects enough to keep them interested and committed to your brand, but in the least overbearing way possible recipients want to receive updates on relevant offers and information at a rhythm that is valuable to them and respectful of their time. 

So how do you find the right balance? Testing is always your best bet. 

A/B test varying frequencies for your campaigns to find where you see the most engagement. This number will be different for every sender, so it can be helpful to look at some industry benchmarks to help you understand how you are progressing.

Finding the right number of emails to send is something that will take trial and error but the one thing you want to make sure to avoid in the process is communication fatigue from your customers/prospects. When people receive too many emails from one company they can become overwhelmed and stop engaging, or even worse,  they could unsubscribe.

Making sure that your customers aren’t being overwhelmed by the number of emails you are sending should be a top priority. Our new feature, Send Frequency Control, makes it easy to put a limit on how many emails each of your contacts should receive in a given timeframe.

Setting these limits will not affect certain triggered campaign types, such as Welcome, Confirm Opt-In, and Lead Alert, that way you can make sure that your customers are still receiving the most important communications from you.

Delivra send frequency preferences

*Available for accounts on B2B license 

CNAME Set-Up Automation

Rebrand Delivra links as your own.

We know how important it is for you to maintain a consistent brand experience, which includes your webpage links. We’ve automated the process that allows you to re-brand all Delivra links as your own, saving you time and coordination. This process ensures brand consistency when subscribers click on your links and see your domain name instead of Delivra’s. The way to do that is by using a field called CNAME (Canonical Name). CNAME allows you to rebrand your tracking links and domains. 

A little more on CNAME form the technical side of things: 

CNAME is a Canonical Name record used in the Domain Name System (DNS) to create an alias from one domain name to another domain name. A common example is the www subdomain which is provided as a pseudonym to the root domain name – users accessing “www.ExampleDomain.com” are referred to the root domain (or DNS zone apex) “exampledomain.com”.

Our CNAME set-up process has now been automated, so that you can have complete control of the setup. You can now create different CNAMEs for tracking assets, landing pages, and forms. Automating the CNAME setup reduces the coordination between multiple teams, saves time, and eliminates the waiting period for set up. The setup can be completed as soon as your IT team enters the CNAME in your DNS records and you authenticate it in Delivra.

*Available for Professional license, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus

 

Publishing Forms

You asked us to make it easier to push/publish form changes, and we listened. We have now added the ability to automatically publish form updates to your websites. We’ve added this additional option so you can now choose to embed a snippet of code right on your website instead of only from the form’s HTML. The snippet of code will retrieve the latest form version from Delivra each time updates are published. 

Automatically publish form updates to your websites with Delivra.

*Available for Professional license, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus

 

5 Ways Email Automation Can Help Improve Your Workflow

When it comes to marketing that gets results, no channel does it better than email.

Even though it is one of the oldest communication channels around, email has had quite a solid renaissance as a marketing tool that delivers when it comes to ROI. In fact, according to research, email can result in ROIs of 4400%. That’s a whopping $44 for every $1 you spend.

In order to get these amazing results, however, you need to move away from the traditional method of using spreadsheets and an email client to manually send emails. The ROI highlighted above is a result of email automation.

This post will help you understand what email automation is and the benefits it brings to your business. We will also look at how email automation helps you improve workflows.

What is Email Automation?

Email automation refers to the use of technology to send automated emails to your subscribers. These automated emails are either triggered according to a prescribed time (drip email campaigns) or according to a user’s action (behavioral triggers).

In order to automate your email campaigns, you need to invest in a good email marketing automation platform that can easily help you meet your email marketing goals.

5 Benefits of Email Automation You Just Can’t Ignore

Besides the amazing ROI, what other benefits do you get from email automation?

Good question. Let’s look at 5 ways email automation helps you reach your goals.

1. Enables You to Personalize Your Emails

One of the biggest benefits of using email marketing software is that it enables you to personalize your emails. Yes, email personalization is a necessity in today’s cutthroat marketing climate.

Source: Campaign Monitor

Email personalization goes beyond using a subscriber’s first name. It mainly means sending relevant content to your subscribers. For example, the above email is relevant to parents.

Why does personalization matter?

Research conducted by Experian revealed that email personalization resulted in 6x higher transaction rates than regular email blasts.

2. Increases Your Efficiency

If you’ve ever tried sending an email with the same message to different recipients, you know how monotonous and time-consuming it can be. This is where automated email sending comes to the rescue. It helps make your email marketing more efficient and leaves you free to take care of matters that need your attention.

3. Makes Scaling Easy

Every business owner desires to grow his or her business. The question is if they can manage their customer relationships as easily as they did when the business was smaller.

Without an email automation platform, marketing and lead nurturing become harder the more customers you have. This makes scaling difficult. With an email marketing platform, however, scaling your operations becomes easier as you can easily handle a bigger customer base efficiently.

4. Improves Customer Experience

Email automation just doesn’t benefit you as the business owner. It also helps your customers have a good experience with your business. This is important as your business can only go as far as your customers are willing to take it. Therefore, give your customers the best experience you can give them – automate your email marketing.

One aspect of email automation that helps you give your customers a great experience is the fact that automation helps you target those that will find your content and products relevant. Because of this, it becomes easy to tailor-make customer journeys that they will enjoy.

By making your customers happy, you increase your customer retention rates, thereby ensuring your business thrives into the future.

5. Boosts Your Revenue

For a business owner, this is probably the biggest reason to invest in an email marketing automation platform. Let me give you a few statistics to convince you of the impact email automation will have on your bottom line.

  • According to DMA, more than 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, with 21% of email marketing revenue being attributed to automated email campaigns.
  • Research conducted by Campaign Monitor revealed emails with personalized subject lines have a 26% higher chance of being opened.
  • The same report by Campaign Monitor also revealed that segmented campaigns can increase revenue by up to 760%.

Those stats are definitely something you don’t want to ignore. These statistics prove that email automation is definitely worth the investment.

How Email Automation can Improve Your Workflow

Now that you know what email automation is and some of the benefits it brings to your business, let’s take a look at some of the specific ways email automation software can improve your workflow.

First, let’s define what we mean by workflow.

Email workflow refers to the series of automated emails you send out according to your predefined triggers. These are meant to take the customer on a journey that will result in them taking the desired action and thus fulfilling your goal for the campaign.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common workflows and see how email automation helps you improve them.

The Welcome Email Workflow

The welcome email is the most common and widely used email workflow. Its purpose, contrary to popular belief, is not just to thank a subscriber for signing up. The welcome email is the most powerful email in your arsenal as it is the most read email sequence.

You’re probably wondering why you need an email sequence to welcome a new subscriber, aren’t you? The reason is simple really. The purpose of a welcome email workflow is to:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Engage your new subscriber
  • Build trust
  • Prime them for a conversion

As you can see, you can’t do this in one email. That’s why your welcome email workflow should consist of about 3-5 emails. The first one should be sent immediately after a subscriber signs up, and then the others can be spaced 2-3 days apart.

This is why automating your welcome email workflow is crucial. You have to time each email in the sequence well so that the sequence can have maximum impact. Here’s a great example of a welcome email that is highly effective:

Here’s a great example of a welcome email that is highly effective:

Source: Really Good Emails

This email does more than just welcome subscribers, it immediately leads them to take further action with the bookshop’s products. It’s a welcome email that actually leads to immediate conversions.

Depending on how your subscriber engages with this workflow, they are enrolled in another sequence that will take them further down your sales funnel.

2. Lead Nurturing

If your subscriber has had some positive interactions with your welcome series, your automation software should then enroll them in a lead nurturing workflow.

The purpose of the lead nurturing workflow is to move your subscriber from the awareness stage of the customer journey to the interest stage. This is where you sell them on the benefits of your product or service – one email at a time.

You don’t want to overwhelm your prospect with too much information so you will have to break this stage down into 3-5 emails. Executed well, the lead nurturing workflow should pique your prospects interest and lead them towards making a purchase.

You don’t want to overwhelm your prospect with too much information so you will have to break this stage down into 3-5 emails.

Source: Really Good Emails

This email from Wynd is a fantastic example of a lead nurturing email. Besides the beautiful email design, it promises the subscriber a beautiful atmosphere in the home with the purifier’s many benefits. By informing and educating your prospect on your product or service, you better equip them with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision on whether to buy into you and your product or not.

3. New Customer Workflow

The customer journey doesn’t end with a conversion. After your prospect makes a purchase, there’s another workflow you need to enroll them in – the new customer workflow. The most common email in this workflow is the order confirmation and thank you email.

Beyond thanking your customer for being a patron, you can send more emails spaced a few days apart. The purpose of this sequence is to keep your customers engaged so as to prime them for an upsell or cross-sell. A good way to do that is by requesting feedback, or by giving them tips on making the most of their recent purchase.

A good way to do that is by requesting feedback, or by giving them tips on making the most of their recent purchase.

Source: Really Good Emails

By following up on a recent purchase, you’re showing customers you value them and not just the money they spent in your business. This will help turn them into loyal customers and brand ambassadors.

Cart Retrieval Workflow

Email automation is also a great way of recovering lost carts. At times, all your customer needs is a gentle reminder to finish off a transaction they had started. Moschino does this exceptionally well.

Source: Really Good Emails

The design of the email is as bold as the products they sell, improving its impact. More than that, this workflow has one major factor that makes it successful – it’s automated. Manually following up on each abandoned cart and sending out personalized emails is next to impossible.

This is why you need email automation to make this workflow more effective.

Wrap Up

There are so many email workflows you as a marketer need to develop. Particularly if you’re short on manpower, you can’t succeed at your email marketing without email marketing software. This is because email automation software will help you:

  • Makes your workflows more efficient
  • Gives your customers an enjoyable email journey
  • Saves you resources you would otherwise spend on hiring a larger team to take care of your email marketing

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and automate your email marketing and enjoy phenomenal growth without overburdening yourself.

Making Things Simple and Saving Time

Custom Tables Upgrade

A custom table is a data structure that organizes information into rows and columns. A table can be used to both store and display data in a structured format. In terms of your Delivra account, your Contact records and their associated data is stored in a table within our database.

Custom tables is a feature that is better valued in action than in concept, so we thought it would be useful to illustrate some common industry use cases.

Financial Services:

When you’re managing people’s finances you need the flexibility to record a copious assortment of assets and liabilities to gather an accurate picture of the client’s finances. Whether that is mortgages and insurance policies that financial advisors manage or data for investment products, real estate, bank accounts, and loans. Custom tables help to manage all of this information for your client in the background.

Online or On-site Retailer:

Managing customer purchase history can be difficult especially when it comes to high purchase volumes. Custom tables helps you keep track of what each customer has purchased and how much. You can add the purchase history if each contact to your database in Delivra which will allow you to make better recommendations for them in the future or alert them to upcoming deals that are relevant to them.

Traditionally adding custom tables to organize contact information meant that you needed some technical background, we have upgraded our feature to eliminate that need while still delivering a complex capability.

We have added pre-built tables and an easy to import data function to help save you time. You will now see a description of each type of table along with an explanation of how and when it should be used. In addition, we have added a few more items to the tables that will save you time:

  • Standard pre-built tables for common-use cases such as webinars
  • Option to import data into tables from another product via csv file
  • Enhanced csv importer for a complex situation such as many-to-many tables

Learn more

Additional Benchmark Reporting

Monitoring your email efforts alongside others in the same industry is key to setting up and adjusting your marketing strategy. We are constantly improving our selection of market benchmark reports, and have added new industries and regions for you to explore and compare. To view the additional reports follow the steps listed here to get up and running. We hope these reports help you in your future strategy planning.

13 Ways Marketing Automation Can Boost Conversions

Looking for B2B digital marketing strategies for 2019? 2020? Look no further: Marketing automation continues to be one of the most reliable conversion-boosters among B2B companies. Read on to get marketing automation explained for your B2B business.

67% of B2B marketers are already using digital technologies to gain conversions via content, according to Content Marketing Institute. Email marketing software (81%), marketing automation (54%), and workflow/project management (53%) were cited among the top five technologies used by B2B marketers.

Unfortunately, the survey also revealed that most B2B marketers have a long way to go to make the most of their overall content marketing strategies. About 57% rated their company’s efforts in the immature range—from “First Steps” to “Adolescent.”

No matter how you rate your own marketing performance, there’s always room to step it up. By enhancing your efforts with marketing automation, you can start winning more conversions.

Look for marketing automation software for B2B businesses? Click here for a demo.

Marketing automation has been shown to produce a nearly 71% higher open rate, according to the Epsilon Email Institute. It’s an approach that allows you to deliver highly customized experiences to each of your subscribers—automatically and at scale.

Marketing automation explained for your B2B company

Here are 13 examples in which marketing automation can boost conversions—at every phase of the customer lifecycle funnel.

Awareness

At the early stages of B2B prospect engagement, it’s important to create an incredible first impression.

Establish your brand as a reliable information hub that addresses prospect challenges. You will focus on creating marketing automation workflows that are designed to boost engagement and, as a result, boost conversions.

How does marketing automation work?

Here are three ways marketing automation helps you address the specific needs of consumers during the Awareness phase.

1. Welcome new subscribers

Marketing automation allows you to set the tone of an engagement by immediately welcoming new prospects. Remember to keep it short and engaging. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • A video welcome message from several of your team members
  • A personal greeting from your CEO
  • An overview of where to find additional information, including demos and case studies

You can also provide subscribers with the opportunity to further personalize their experience. Send a form that requests additional information about specific interests, company size, needs, job title, etc.

2. Recommend content based on subscriber interests

If you obtain a new subscriber through gated content, remember, they may be more interested in your site content than in your emails.

Show them the value of staying connected with your company. Create a workflow specifically designed to deliver more relevant content. This can include a mix of the following:

  • Industry-relevant tips delivered in email newsletters
  • Recommend reading, including high-performing blogs or other rich, relevant content based on the subscriber interests
  • Case studies based on clients in related industries

3. Build your brand’s reputation

Marketing automation also boosts conversions by enabling you to build brand authority—a critical factor at the beginning stages of any Awareness campaign.

Build your reputation by delivering highly relevant, engaging, and well-researched content. You can do this through various formats, including blogs, white papers, videos, infographics, and courses.

Consideration

As with all phases of the buyer cycle, you’ll want increased engagement during the Consideration phase. If prospects are continuing to engage with your brand, you have an incredible opportunity to gain conversions.

Here are three ways marketing automation can help you boost deeper engagements with your prospects.

4. Create a personalized experience

Nothing will turn off a time-constrained business prospect more than irrelevant emails. By setting up a behavior-triggered automation campaign, you can create a tailor-made, well-timed experience for your subscribers..

Instead of sending the same email newsletter to your entire list, marketing automation affords you the ability to respond based on specific behaviors, such as:

  • Downloading an ebook
  • Browsing a product page
  • Reviewing pricing
  • Attending a webinar
  • Requesting more information

The value of these types of triggered email campaigns should never be underestimated. While they may require more initial set-up time, the benefits can be significant. According to recent statistics, 77% of marketing ROI can be contributed to segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns.

5. Nurture your leads

The ability to effectively nurture leads is another major benefit of a marketing automation campaign. You can deliver a customized experience that encourages prospects to move further into the buyer funnel.

It represents a win-win opportunity for your prospects as well as your marketing team. First, you’re providing timely answers to pressing questions. Secondly, you’re gathering data insights to indicate where prospects fall in the sales funnel.

6. Gain the ability to score your leads

Not all prospects are sales-ready. With that in mind, you must respond to each lead based on their relationship with you and your brand.

For years, some form of lead scoring has been used to determine which prospects are ready to buy. With automation, you have more accurate insights into your leads.

Use previous data to determine the right time to approach prospects. Certain behaviors can indicate when a prospect is ready, and they can also help you invest your time efficiently.

As a result, marketing automation offers an incredible opportunity. You can focus on prospects ready to pursue a sales conversion, all while giving other prospects the space they need to learn more about your platform.

Evaluation

Through the lead scoring system you’ve established, determine a time when you can invite your prospect to evaluate your platform or product.

Strategically use a mix of demos, case studies, and other similar content to arrive at this point. Marketing automation will automatically detect user behaviors that trigger engagement during the Evaluation phase.

Here are three key benefits of marketing automation at this point in the buyer journey.

7. Showcase relevant case studies/testimonials

By gathering more insights about your prospects, marketing automation can be triggered to deliver case studies and client testimonials at the ideal time. Prospect insights include their specific challenges, industries, and engagement behaviors.

Relevant case studies can build a case for moving forward with your brand as an optimal partner.

8. Send a relevant promotion

Marketing automation allows you to deliver promotion-free trials or discounts—when the prospect is more likely to find value in your solution.

An incentive could be the key to moving them closer to the purchase of your product/solution.

9. Invite prospects to a sales call as a next step

Choosing the right time to make a direct sales call is key to ensuring a conversion. It should be seamless—without missing a beat between the email engagement and a real conversation.

You don’t want to turn people off by approaching them too early, but you certainly don’t want to let these leads to go cold because the chance was missed.

Make sure your marketing automation workflow takes customer patterns into consideration. Use those insights to determine the ideal time for a sales rep to follow up with your prospects.

Make sure this workflow also sends an email notification to sales team members so that they’re ready to quickly engage at the right time.

Purchase

Once a subscriber has made a purchase, further engage them through an immersive experience that shows you value them. The automated marketing campaign at the Purchase phase should be comprehensive, giving clients everything they need to understand where to go for help and support.

Even at the Purchase phase, marketing automation can help you gain more conversions. By building loyal customers, you can pave the way to upsells and referrals—the key to building a solid foundation for your company.

Here are a few ways marketing automation continues to convert—even after consumers have purchased your product/solution.

10. Welcome new customers to your community

Invest as much effort into new customers as you do into new prospects. Develop a welcoming automation workflow that introduces them to your community and solution benefits.

It should be designed to solidify their decision to choose your brand as a partner.

11. Provide guidance

To ensure your new clients are getting the support they need, send content discussing purchase benefits. This can include tutorials, training sessions, guides, updates, and client webinars.

It also should include a summary of the many ways they can reach out to you for information and troubleshooting.

12. Retention

Don’t make the mistake of neglecting customers who have been around for a while. They are the foundation of your business.

Automation will ensure that you’re supporting the needs of long-term customers. Develop content that helps them find solutions for the more advanced business challenges they may be encountering. Also, periodically send customer satisfaction surveys to gauge your performance.

With numerous triggered campaigns designed to focus on your subscribers’ interests and, more specifically, their behaviors, you have the power to quickly respond to them naturally, with highly relevant messaging and content.

13. Upsell

Your prospects will have ongoing challenges—evolving with the demands of their industries as well as the need to continually improve their processes and offerings. Be prepared to help them make those adjustments with more advanced solutions or products.

Develop workflows that provide your clients with the opportunity to upgrade their solutions and/or services.

Wrap Up

Now that you’ve had marketing automation explained, you know it can be used to deliver customized content to your prospects at scale. You can develop a seamless experience that converts them at the critical points in the buyer journey.

It also allows you to create an effective lead scoring system that produces more accurate insights. These insights will help you approach prospects at the right time, for a one-on-one engagement with a sales rep.

Contact Delivra and learn how our marketing automation solution can help you win more conversions throughout the sales funnel. We’ll show a demo with your company in mind.

Diversity Recruiting: Is Your Company a Changemaker?

This article is part of a larger series that focuses on diversity and equity in marketing through the amplification of Black and racially diverse authors. As a company, we are committed to identifying actions we can take in the fight against racism and injustice, and elevating BBIPOC voices is paramount to inspiring change. Follow along and read other posts in this series here.

_______________________________________________________________

This post is authored by Jada Harland, CEO + Talent Marketer.

From a consumer and recruiting perspective, diversity did not become important; it always has and will continue to be important to the structure of any long-term success of any business.

According to HR Digest, a McKinsey study acknowledges that “Ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians and gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to do the same.” Trillions of dollars and hundreds of millions of potential customers support a variety of industries with their cash.

But another currency that has become more and more valuable is engagement. Inclusivity in talent leads to new perspectives, accountability in better decision-making, and endless ideas for content. So, I pose the question, why shouldn’t the talent supporting the internal structure of a business reflect their customers?

Recruitment is a bittersweet necessity for all companies, big or small. The recruiting teams keep the wheels of stellar talent turning as businesses expand, roles change, and new opportunities emerge, giving the recruiter extraordinary power to shift the narrative of their respective company’s diversity agenda. Therefore, a good recruiter is to hire the best candidate for the role, regardless of what one’s name looks or sounds like on their resume, any assumptions of personal preferences, or skin color.

Hiring changemakers

My take on talent is a little different as my role as a Talent Marketer has incorporated, if not focused, on diversity quite a bit. This job title has gained traction in recent years as more workplaces realize recruitment is more than just cold calls and looking over hundreds of resumes. A lot of the time, we are assigned unicorns that we must attract, entertain, and persuade to join our clients’ organizations or our own companies.

Hence the marketing aspect of recruitment is strategic in achieving the goal of encouraging the increase in engagement from a diverse and capable talent pool. And to top it off, I primarily focused on hiring marketing talent.

I should also mention that my role in Talent Marketing was even more unique as I am also a Black woman in Corporate America, where there are only a few others who look like me in most companies. For example, as a Talent Marketer, supporting recruiting efforts often puts me on a team that has only 1 or 2 black recruiters out of 30+ recruiters.

Leaning on my experience hiring project managers, copywriters, consultants, contractors, and even executives, you hear and see a lot on the backend of the hiring recruitment process that makes me hopeful about workplace diversity for our future. Some rhetoric makes me proud of the progress made in Corporate America with a genuine demand for great talent that will change the outlook of the office, while other times I find myself cringing at displaced and disgraceful commentary surrounding the conversation around diversity or inclusivity.

It’s general knowledge that after President Truman’s Executive Order 9981 in 1948 diversity in the armed forces would bring about change, but the corporate initiative has been painfully slow until recent years since the 1960s.

Marketing teams lead the way

As a Talent Marketer, I have had the pleasure of focusing on marketing professionals who I consider to be the gateway for change. Marketing and Advertising teams are hired to manage half the business. Their half of the business is primarily focused on demand and ongoing engagement. The content produced by the marketing team guides the conversation around a brand and the interactions of the customer.

This past year, the Black Lives Matter Movement exposed uncomfortable issues in our private lives, but also in the workplace. Many companies scrambled to make the conscious decision to identify who their customers were and to address how they were being affected. This led to new campaigns being produced, companies rushing to hire more diverse talent so as to not be part of the problem, and even displaying their political views on social platforms.

These efforts were driven by marketing teams that suddenly had to face the struggles of their peers as well as consumers. In light of the BLM Movement, the lack of empathy from Corporate America became impossible to ignore and many companies acted swiftly, leading to the understanding that representation matters in and out of the office. That’s one reason why creating diverse marketing teams and marketing leadership is important. Witnessing the impacts of marketing on the social constructs of our world means the more people who look and think like us all, the more change we will see.

But while diverse marketing teams make big strides toward change, marketing teams that lack diversity can make big mistakes. We all saw the epic fail of H&M and their campaign around a new line of clothing with black kids wearing monkey shirts. This led to an uproar and H&M struggled to recover. The same goes for Dove under Unilever with their campaign with a black woman removing her brown shirt to be replaced by a white woman in a white shirt or skincare brand Nivea, and even Pepsi. All could have been avoided and saved millions of dollars on horrid content if they had a more diverse team to speak on these issues.

Diverse talent is abundant

In my role, I deal with talent 70% of the time. I have been on the agency and client side. Unfortunately, the conversation about diversity is complex when dealing with hiring clients for several reasons.

First and foremost, the lack of access leads to lack of diversity. As a recruiter and as a marketer that attracts talent, the data shows that the talent is out there, but there are changes that must be made. Job descriptions should be descriptive of the role but leave room for individual experience.

For example, if a role requires a candidate to have experience with “creative assignments” and they have all the required tools to get the job done, who is to say that their experience working on other material outside of “White America” would not be helpful to broaden the scope of projects for your company? We are aware that there are what’s considered “Black brands” vs “pop culture.”

This divide exists because most brands exclude people of color. If I have a talented graphic designer who has primarily worked with “black brands” and their work reflects the hair textures or ideologies of black culture, their work should be valued just as much as their white counterparts.

Unfortunately, talent like this often gets overlooked and categorized as “too urban” or “not a cultural fit.” We recycle the same content instead of mirroring the reality of society. We all have a story, and we have the right to share it authentically. Placing value on one’s life experience over another is damaging.

But that’s not the only way that Corporate America is moving so slowly when it comes to creating more diverse teams. In the process of finding talent for a job posting, we do an intake call, starting off with one idea of “revolutionary talent,” but ultimately the search changes as the company goes back to seeking candidates that they’ve always had, white and male with the same perspectives.

Another point to make is that the wage gap still exists, and it is discouraging to speak to a talented marketer who is hired at a lower salary and takes a much longer time than their peers to reach a certain salary threshold. If we are moving forward to a more equitable future, companies must go back to the drawing board. The two previous problems prove that the search for more diverse candidates was an idea, not a plan of action for diversity or inclusivity.

Wrap up

As a black professional and as a recruiter, I have learned that doing your job well is not just based on your results, but equally on the vision of the client or hiring party. Internal conflicts around diversity and inclusion need to be addressed from the top down much like legislation.

We lead by example. Because the ideology behind talent marketing is to identify, create, and encourage top-tier talent to gravitate to the roles for the company, we have to set the tone. The resources we use in recruitment change depending on our search and in this case, we also need to change our perspective. The diversity we seek is not hidden. Choice is change. This responsibility leaves us all with a question, Corporate America, what are we working on, and are we really serious about it?

Jada Harland is a trailblazer. She has worked in Talent Marketing for 5 years working with Fortune 500 companies to hire the best marketing professionals from Specialists to CMOs.

Her experience in Recruitment has opened doors to work on diversity in some of the biggest brands. She now owns her own online clothing store Nastasia.co and works alongside her husband with their other business ventures. She continues to utilize her skills in social media, copywriting, website building and recruitment on a contractual basis. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her growing family, traveling, and learning about history and astronomy.

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CM Group is a family of global marketing technology brands including Campaign Monitor, CM Commerce, Delivra, Emma, Liveclicker, Sailthru and Vuture. By joining together these leading brands, CM Group offers a variety of world-class solutions that can be used by marketers at any level. Headquartered in Nashville, TN, CM Group has United States offices in Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh and San Francisco, and global offices in Australia, London, New Zealand and Uruguay.

Personalization on a New Level

Progressive profiling:

The new progressive profiling feature in Delivra can boost your sales, build better lead profiles, and increase your conversion rates with shorter forms.

You can now design forms that capture relevant information as your prospects show more interest in your product. The new progressive profiling feature can boost your sales, build better lead profiles, and increase your conversion rates with shorter forms.

Progressive profiling is a method of collecting relevant information on your leads in small pieces, rather than asking for too much data all at once. This can prevent prospects from being overwhelmed and losing interest.

Using progressive profiling, you might ask only for an email address and first name upon initial signup, then strategically request more data at key points throughout a buyer’s journey. The fewer fields that you have up front, the better your conversion rate will be.

Delivra conversion rate image

*Infographic by Quicksprout

Progressive Profiling is now available to all Enterprise Plans. Interested in upgrading? Contact us to learn more.

Here’s a quick example:

The first time someone visits your site, you may ask them for their email only. However, every time they go back to your site and complete a new form, you can ask them for more information—made possible by cookie tracking.

You don’t have to give up landing page conversion rates to gather additional information.

With every new form your visitors complete, you can be more confident that they value your content. And every time they come back, you can learn more about them.

Above is a progressive profiling example. With every new form your visitors complete, you can be more confident that they value your content. And every time they come back, you can learn more about them.

*Infographic example from gated content

By asking fewer questions and offering more value with your content, you will gain your users’ trust and easily facilitate future user engagement

Domain management:

The next step in ultimate personalization is domain management. With our new feature you can suppress domains of unwanted visitors or show preference to those you want to prioritize.

With Delivra's new feature you can suppress domains of unwanted visitors or show preference to those you want to prioritize.

Preferred Domains: Start by identifying a list of domains that are being targeted, and should receive special treatment upon form submission (e.g. redirect to a personalized landing page).

You can then define special rules for handling form submissions from these specific domains. Submissions from highly sought after prospects can be dropped into an automation, navigated to a special landing page, or presented with a special message.

Domain Suppression: On the flip side, you can also identify a list of domains that should not be allowed to submit a form. When a competitor tries to submit, you have the option to provide a separate message or redirect them to a specific landing page. Domain suppression can also be used to require a business email address from prospects and block ones that are known to be used by bots—preventing them from signing up for your emails and adding junk contacts to your list.

*This feature is available for Enterprise accounts only

Personalized landing pages:

Our Landing Page designer now has the same personalization options as Campaigns when creating or editing content. By customizing your landing pages, you can provide a unique, relevant experience for your customers.

For example, when a customer submits a form on your website, you can send them directly to a personalized landing page that is unique to them by using their specific details (such as name or location).

Why use personalization? Taking the extra time to tailor your site to your individual visitors by name and location, helps you increase the relevance of your content and start to build a relationship with your customers.

Personalization can also save your visitors from clicking around, searching for what they need—and instead provide them faster access to content that interests them. Personalized content reduces the risk of visitors losing interest and leaving your site all together.

*This feature is for B2B accounts only

Appropriation vs. Appreciation

This article is part of a larger series that focuses on diversity and equity in marketing through the amplification of Black and racially diverse authors. As a company, we are committed to identifying actions we can take in the fight against racism and injustice, and elevating BBIPOC voices is paramount to inspiring change. Follow along and read other posts in this series here.

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This post is authored by Kiana Fitzgerald, Music Journalist and Cultural Critic.

Kiana Fitzgerald

In June 2014, a precocious teenage Black girl nicknamed Peaches Monroee hopped on the now-defunct video-sharing platform Vine to share a personal announcement. “We in this b*tch, finna get crunk,” the message began. Then came the phrase that would dominate pop culture for years to come: “Eyebrows on fleek.”

When Monroee, whose real name is Kayla Newman, invented this phrase on the spot, she had no idea the impact she would soon make.

The term “on fleek” spread like wildfire throughout the Black Vine space, and Black culture at large. It became the community’s contemporary, insider way of saying “I’m on point.” However, it didn’t take long for the phrase to be co-opted by brands. “Hashbrowns on fleek,” the diner chain Denny’s tweeted in September of 2014. Not to be outdone, rival restaurant IHOP would tweet “Pancakes on fleek” less than one month later.

The tweets elicited responses that ranged from confusion to amusement to outright frustration.

Despite her hyper-popular phrase taking over pop culture, Newman didn’t see a dime of revenue. “Everyone has used the phrase/word but I haven’t received any money behind it or recognition,” Newman revealed in 2017 in the campaign summary of a partially successful GoFundMe, which she started to raise money for the launch of her own beauty line.

And thus began—and ended—another tale of Black people creating a cultural moment and being swiftly swept aside.

Appreciation

Late last year, it seemed as though history was set to repeat itself. In December 2020, a car salesman named Durell Smylie, who goes by Relly B on social media, recorded himself comically stepping out of the trunk of an SUV. Upon setting foot on the ground, Smylie immediately begins an entertaining spiel that goes above and beyond any car salesman pitch ever heard before.

Toward the end of the video, Smylie begins repeating an earworm of a phrase, telling potential customers where they can find him: “Where the money reside, where the money reside, where the money reside,” he says liltingly, with a megawatt smile on his face.

It took all of a few days for the video to spread across social media platforms, with the term being turned into a viral hashtag. Music stars like Megan Thee Stallion and Mary J. Blige have since used the phrase as captions on their social posts. Other people in the Black community have borrowed the phrase to speak their own dreams into existence. Meanwhile, a creative bunch took the time to recreate Smylie’s video, in homage, which he approved of.

Appropriation

However, Smylie called out a white person for doing the exact same thing.

The individual in question recreated the original video in an attempt to sell cars at another dealership, using Smylie’s mannerisms, vocal tone, and key phrase. “Please stop posting that colonizers casserole version of my video,” Smylie tweeted in early January. In a follow-up tweet, which quoted a video of a Black woman’s near-exact replication of Smylie’s video, Smylie explains the difference between the two examples. “Just so we clear – THIS is appreciation and not appropriation!” he posted. “I’m not being arrogant or none like that me and my team just want to make sure #wherethemoneyreside STAYS IN OUR CULTURE.”

The difference here is the recreations made by Black people were done in jest intracommunally, and in genuine support of Smylie, while the white person was deliberately looking to capitalize off of Smylie’s persona for his own material gain.

When questioned by supporters and curious minds about how he was going to save himself from an “on fleek” future, Smylie said he was in the process of trademarking his signature phrase, something Kayla Newman struggled to do. (In a 2017 interview with Teen Vogue, Newman stated that she still hoped to trademark “on fleek,” despite the passing of a number of years. According to public records, her trademark application has been suspended since 2019, due to being “abandoned.”)

What brands should know

While Smylie is taking steps to legally protect his own viral slogan, the issue at hand is that companies and entities outside of the Black community consistently attempt to insert themselves into the cultural narrative, for the sake of profiting.

No leg work is actually done to build a relationship with the Black creatives, much less actually provide any kind of compensation for that creativity.

There are lessons to be learned from these examples of appreciation vs. appropriation. There are also questions that should be raised—and answered—before ever repurposing content created by Black people:

Is our company in any way connected to the Black community? Further, do we have more than one Black person on staff, if any?

Will our usage of this viral content come from left field?

Can we reach out to the creator of the viral content directly and establish a relationship with that person?

If at all possible, can we collaborate with the creator for our own inspired content?

In answering these questions, it should be abundantly clear whether or not a company can or should co-opt a phrase for its own gain.

Kiana holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism (2011), and a master’s degree in new media in mass communication (2013) from Texas State University. She’s been a freelance writer, multimedia reporter, academic and editorial researcher, photographer, social media strategist, collegiate instructor, web developer, and more.

She’s worked for NPR, and more recently Complex Networks where she interviewed artists, critiqued albums, songs and videos, both mainstream and underground. As a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow at True Blue Inclusion, she researched, analyzed and presented the effects of politics on media and culture and continues to write and analyze DEI efforts today.

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CM Group is a family of global marketing technology brands including Campaign Monitor, CM Commerce, Delivra, Emma, Liveclicker, Sailthru and Vuture. By joining together these leading brands, CM Group offers a variety of world-class solutions that can be used by marketers at any level. Headquartered in Nashville, TN, CM Group has United States offices in Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh and San Francisco, and global offices in Australia, London, New Zealand and Uruguay.

2021 Global Email Benchmarks Presented By Campaign Monitor

In 2020, Email Volume Grew 7% and Consumers Responded with a 13% Increase in Open Rates

We’re excited to announce the release of our annual 2021 Benchmarks Report. So many of our customers dealt with huge changes to their businesses, including everything from decreased in-person business to managing increased online behavior, as well as problems with supply chain and fulfillment. During all of this upheaval, email became an important communication channel in order to provide COVID-19 information and content—and of course, transaction details.

The 2021 Email Benchmarks Report analyzed over 100 billion emails sent globally by CM Group clients. With so much more customer interaction happening online, email grew an incredible 7% in 2020, compared to a growth rate of only 2.5% the year before. This equates to more than 1 billion more emails sent year over year by CM Group clients per month, with the highest increases happening in March and July when clients sent 1.5 billion more emails.

Not only that, we saw that our customers’ audiences were highly engaged, with an increase in open rates at a staggering 13%. Even with the record number of emails going to inboxes, people were more likely to engage than ever before, with the peak open rates happening in April and May.

This is a highly encouraging sign for our customers, especially as many will continue to rely on email this year as new changes unfold and as they learn to balance “back-to-normal” behavior with their newfound online preferences.

Here are several other key findings from the Report:

  • Friday had the highest open rates: In a shift from past years where early week-day performed the best, Friday was the highest performer in 2020.
  • Mobile share decreased: With less time in lines and commuting, mobile’s share of opened emails went down for the first time in years, from 63% to 54%.
  • Click-to-open rates decreased: Many more emails were sent to simply provide information, rather than to drive an action, resulting in a slight click-to-open rate decrease from 2019.
  • Several industries saw click-through rates above 4%: Four industries — government, education, nonprofits and agriculture — all saw increases to its click-through rates in 2020, all reaching above 4%.
  • Unsubscribe rates were historically low: Specifically for entertainment, media and, importantly, retail, Campaign Monitor saw unsubscribe rates near 0% throughout the year.

This an email benchmarks graphic that shows industry averages

Looking ahead, we see the opportunity to have larger and more engaged email subscriber lists this year. But as everyone gets back to life as usual, having the right segmentation and personalization will be even more critical to reaching your audience. Now is the time to test, test, test, in order to determine what keeps subscribers most interested over the long term, not just for an individual email or campaign.

To get a full breakdown of performance benchmarks in 2020, including send volume, open rate and click-through rate by industry and day of week, we encourage you to download the full Report.

These benchmarks serve as an important and valuable baseline for marketers as they try to plan 2021 without their typical historical data to rely on.

To download the full 2021 Benchmarks Report, click here.