Fundamentals of Email Marketing Every Marketer Should Know

By Sandra D’Souza

Email marketing is one of the most popular and widely used methods to reach potential customers and generate leads. It is more cost-effective than traditional forms of advertisingand its results are quick and immediate. It is relatively easier to create and monitor, too. But before you incorporate this particular marketing method into your overall digital strategy, it is important for you to understand several key principles behind email marketing. Having a clear understanding of what email marketing is all about can help you develop better strategies, which could lead to better results and bigger profits.

How Email is Delivered

According to Derek Harding, every email marketer should know how their email gets deliveredto their intended recipients. Although knowing such technical details may seem irrelevant or even useless, he explained that it is still important because it can affect a wide range of areas.

For instance, spam filtering affects and depends on how your message gets delivered. If you don’t understand how spam filtering works, you cannot say for sure if your prospects are indeed receiving your emails. Knowing what blocking and filtering, the difference between RIBL and URIBL, bounce codes and responses are, as well as understanding how they impact the delivery process will help ensure that your messages are being sent successfully to your intended recipients.

How Email is Displayed

Today, there are many different ways for internet users to access and read their emails. Some check out their inbox through their desktop computers, while others do it on their tablets and smart phones. For this reason, it is important for an email marketer like you to know how emails display across different platforms. This will allow you to fully optimise the content and design of your emails to be responsive to different device screens, thus, making it easier for your intended recipients to read them.

Basic Metrics and Analytics

According to Derek, email marketing is a data-driven medium. Unfortunately, many marketers don’t know how to use valuable data, such as delivery, open, and click rates, to their advantage. As a result, their email marketing campaigns are almost always under-performing.

It is very important for you to have a good grasp of data analysis and to use basic metrics when crafting your messages. For example, if your emails have very low open and click rates, you should determine what prevents your prospects from reading them and following through. Are your subject lines not enticing enough? Are your email messages lacklustre and boring?  If they are, you should create interesting and compelling subject lines and email copies to encourage your recipients to click and open them. You should also include a clear and concise call to action to direct readers towards your desired conversion goal. This will help improve your open and click rates and at the same time, help you generate more conversions. 

Privacy and Security

As an email marketer, you might be handling a vast amount of data and information that could possibly indentify an individual. Therefore, it is essential that you are aware of and that you fully understand the latest privacy and security laws. This is to protect the privacy of your prospects and customers, as well as ensure that you are not unknowingly breaking anti-spam laws and placing your company at a risk of being sued.

Knowing the basics and the fundamentals of email marketing will serve as a good foundation for your campaigns. The benefits of successful email marketing campaigns include repeat customers, bigger sales, and an increase in your customer database over time.

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Paid Search: Simple Strategies to Power Up Negative Keywords

By Sandra D’Souza

When working on their Google AdWords accounts, most marketers focus their attention on researching regular or traditional keywords. After all, these keywords enable their ads to be displayed for relevant searches. What many marketers and businesses don’t realise is that utilising negative keywords in their PPC (pay per click) campaigns is just as important.

According to Google, negative keywords work by preventing your advertisements from being displayed for particular keyword phrases.  Because of this particular attribute, negative keywords stop your ads from being shown to people who do not fit your target audience mold and are less likely to use your product or service.As a result, they can help you reduce costs and get bigger return on investment. And more importantly, they can help you filter unnecessary clicks and instead reach only the most interested customers.

If you are considering using negative keywords on your PPC campaigns, here are some simple strategies you might want to implement to double their impact.

Think Beyond Each Negative Keyword

According to Andrew Lolk, co-founder of White Shark Media, after identifying a search query you don’t want your PPC ads to show for, you should think beyond the negative keywords you have added to your list of excluded keywords. Then, determine the other words your target audience would want to use.For example, if you’re selling inexpensive or used furniture and you don’t want your ads to be shown when users type in the word “luxury,” you should think of other words that are synonymous to “luxury,” such as “expensive,” “high-end,” and “upscale.”

By looking beyond each negative keyword, you will be able to identify more related or similar keywords or search queries that you don’t want your ads to be displaying for. This can help double the impact of your negative keywords, Andrew explained.

Take Advantage of Google’s Keyword Research Tool

Google has a nifty keyword research tool called Google Keyword Planner which provides you with a wide list of common and related keywords. If you’re having a hard time coming up with different variations of your negative keywords, you can utilise this tool to kick start your list.

Use the Search Term Report

Andrew pointed out that one of the biggest challenges of working with negative keywords is that you have to play a guessing game. “You really don’t know what search queries you’re receiving impressions for, but not getting clicks from. You have to guess what people will search for in conjunction with the keywords that you have in your AdWords campaign,” he said. Fortunately, this hurdle can be overcome by simply “looking at the signs” in your Search Terms report.

Andrew said using the data in your Search Terms report allows you to easily identify more search queries or keywords you do not want your ads to be showing for. He added that this is something he has experienced personally. “When we ran product category keywords like pans, pots, bath-towels, etc, we saw that our ads appeared for searches that included brands we didn’t have in our inventory. Many would just check if the brand they had searched for was on our site and leave when they didn’t find it,” he went on to say.

With the help of the Search Term report, Andrew said he and his team were able to easily pinpoint the brands and models they didn’t carry and include them in their list of negative keywords. After adding the necessary negative keywords, they were able to see a not worthy increase in their click through rates or CTR.

To significantly enhance the impact of your negative keywords, Andrew said you should take the time to do some proper keyword research before running a PPC campaign. This can help you generate better results and save more time in the long run.

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4 Pinterest User Stats That Will Help Your Business

Twin Design /

Over the last couple of years, Pinterest has become one of the most popular and fastest-growing social media sites in the world. According to, since the site was launched in March 2010, it has attracted 70 million users and the figure is expected to grow further in the future. This makes Pinterest a very attractive online marketing channel to drive traffic to your site, and creating brand awareness among new audiences.

But before you can determine whether Pinterest fits the strategy for your business, it is important to determine who are using this social media platform:

Who’s pinning?

Citing a recent study conducted by RJMetrics, Ashley Zeckman of Search Engine Journal has revealed that women far out-pin men on Pinterest. According to the study, approximately 80% of Pinterest users are women. Female pinners are also far more active than their male counterparts; for every pin posted by a male there are 15 pins from females.

What are they pinning?

Over the past year, the average female Pinterest user has made an average of 158 pins. But what exactly women are pinning? According to the study, 20% of pins fall under the Food and Drink category, 12% are in the DIY & Crafts, and 11% are under Home Decor. Some of the most popular categories on Pinterest also include Holiday & Events, Hair & Beauty, and Women’s Fashion.

Where are those pins coming from?

Every pin on Pinterest links to a website. After weeding out user-generated content sites, such as Blogspot, Tumblr, and Flickr, the researchers were able to identify where those re-pins are coming from and what brands female pinners are into. dominated the list, followed by,, and Although Etsy has the most number of re-pins by site, 67% of re-pins were made using the Pinterestbookmarklet. This is a clear indication that placing social buttons, like the Pinterestbookmarklet, on blog posts and other types of web content makes them more shareable.

When are they pinning?

When you look at data on a monthly basis, the study showed that there are seasonal trends in the types of pins users are sharing, according to Zeckman. For example, there is an obvious increase in the number of holiday-themed pins in August, while health and fitness trends expand in the early part of the year.  On a daily basis, pinning times grow throughout the day, with a significant spike in the evening.

Having a good grasp of who your target market audience are and what they really want is an essential aspect of online marketing. Therefore, by utilising these four eye-opening Pinterest statistics, you can successfully integrate the social network into your overall marketing strategy.


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How to Manage Local Listings to Get Bigger ROI

By Sandra D’Souza

For both online and offline businesses, taking advantage of local search listings is a great way to get more exposure and, therefore, attract more potential customers. It helps advertise your business where local customers are looking. It is also more cost-effective and it can provide you with better return on investment, or ROI, as compared to print ads and other traditional forms of marketing.

In addition, a recent study conducted by Google  with IpsosMediaCT and Purchased has shown the true potential of local search. According to the search giant, everyday, people rely on local searches to find various things nearby. The study also revealed that 50% of those who conducted local searches are more likely to follow up with an in-store visit. This only shows that by taking advantage of local search listings, businesses can place themselves in a better position to be discovered by potential customers and generate bigger revenues.

If you want to incorporate local search listings into your arsenal of online marketing tools, it is essential that you develop key local listing management strategies to ensure bigger ROI. Here are some practical tips to help you get started.

Optimise for Google, Yahoo, and Bing

If you want to generate more leads and attract more customers, ensure that your local listings are optimised for the “Big Three.” With 65.5% ofsearch traffic taking place on Google sites, Google is perhaps the most popular and most powerful search engine today.This is one of the primary reasons why you need to ensure your listings are Google-friendly.

However, many businesses, even the major brands, focus their attention solely on Google. According to Bill Connard, VP for local search solutions at Rio SEO, this is a big no-no. It is important to optimise your local listings for Yahoo and Bing, as well. Otherwise, you will miss the opportunity to rank higher since a comScore report revealed that these two sites also account for 28.7% of search traffic.

Use Aggregators

Aggregators are something you should consider using as they deliver “great value” to your business. According to Bill, they enable your brand to build “hundreds of valuable, relevant back links” to your local landing pages. They also help you provide your web visitors with better user experience and increase your local presence. And since major search engines compare and validate listings information using data from aggregators, they can also help you get higher rankings in local organic search results.

Consider using paid local listings management solutions

If your budget allows, you should also consider utilising paid local listings management options. Platforms like Yelp, Foursquare, Yext, and Facebook can deliver high-quality, affordable traffic that can help you generate bigger ROI. According to Bill, these sites also act as “power business review sites” and they contain valuable local business listing information.

Take advantage of outbound social media marketing

Aside from the methods discussed above, you should also consider taking advantage of the marketing prowess of social media. After all, various studies have shown that most people today spend a great deal of their time on social media sites. In addition, social media can also help you create brand awareness and generate organic traffic. However, generating traffic and obtaining leads through various social media platforms can be a challenge because you have to be in “different places at the same time.”

Fortunately, there are simple ways for you to send messages through different social media streams. One of them is to use apps like NewzSocial. NewzSocial enables businesses to fully optimise their outbound social media marketing from a single interface. By allowing them to send the right messages to the right people through the right social media channels at the most appropriate time, businesses can better engage their prospects and customers, thus, improving their visibility and expanding their local presence.

Monitor your performance

As with any other online marketing strategies, you should take the time to monitor the performance of your local listings. This can help you determine your current search rankings and the amount of traffic going in to your site. By having access to such vital information, you can determine which aspect of your campaign requires improvement.

Efficient management of your local listings is one of the secrets to getting bigger ROI. Therefore, see to it that you follow the pointers discussed above to ensure that your campaign is being handled properly and to obtain the results and revenues you are expecting.

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#AskThicke Hashtag Backfires On Robin Thicke Q&A With VH1

Social media is a great way to interact with your followers, but some brands and businesses often forget that it can be a double-edged sword. There are many ways social media can go wrong and giving people 100% free reign over a particular marketing stint is one of them.

‘Blurred Lines’ singer Robin Thicke might take a break from using Twitter after being mercilessly trolled in a social media stunt gone wrong. Just recently, VH1 decided to play host to a Twitter Q&A with the singer and encouraged everyone to send their burning questions for Thicke to @VH1 using the hashtag #AskThicke. The expectation that sensible questions would come through was quickly discarded as most Twitter users posted abusive, slanderous and hateful tweets to the singer. Many of the questions appeared to be about his “misogynistic” song lyrics and his relationship with Paula Patton, his ex-wife.

Moral lessons of the story? First, VH1 should have listened to its Twitter followers right from the get-go. While it seemed that VH1 didn’t expect everything to spiral out of control, they did receive a fair warning from many Twitter users that things could get ugly the moment they sent that tweet encouraging everyone to ask Robin Thicke questions. And second, if you’re going to feature a controversial person on social media as part of your promotional stint, avoid giving everyone free reign because things can and will get ugly indeed.

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