Know How: How To Start Thinking Outside The Box?

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Know How: How To Start Thinking Outside The Box?

09.07.2020

Email has rendered primarily static for decades. You won’t come across dynamic feature releases very often — besides the convenient Meet embed and Split Thread, and some handy shortcuts, of course. 

Ironically though, this static email nature can hardly be attributed to email marketing. This vibrant branch holds some intriguing trends under its belt, especially when infused with tech.  

From augmented reality and AMP-powered emails to minimalist HTML designs and so much more!

But what we often tend to miss, on this near-obsessive trend marathon, is what lies at the heart of just any email campaign. Human touch and a personalized approach. 

OK… enough of a moral preamble. 

Besides this refresher on how to forge an emotional connection through emails, discover a powerful way to train your creativity (yes, it can be trained!). Learn about Google’s latest revenge on Pinterest’s recurring search thefts. 

Find out a hack to embed an automatic countdown on your Google ads. And lots of mind-bending tips and tactics in this week’s Know How. 

We’ll also learn how to fuel the referral engine among your campaign backers. 

 

Email Marketing: Season Your Email Campaigns With 4 Juicy Tactics

Sales: Hone Your Creativity With Brad Hokanson’s Technique

SMM: Become An Early Adopter Of Google’s Keen

Google Ads: Automate The Sense of Urgency in Your Google Ads

 

Ready to step up your game?

Let’s jump right in! 

Season Your Email Campaigns With 4 Juicy Tactics

By Ruzanna Avetisyan

 

Let’s kick off this week’s Know How with a quick debut of 4 forward-thinking tactics to cultivate a highly-invested subscriber base and encourage email campaign results that shoot through the roof. 

Tip #1: Personalization is critical 

“Dear customer” is not the same as “Dear Jack”.  Not by a long shot. For the sake of illustration, replace “Jack” with your name. Did you feel how this little twist hooked and reeled you in immediately? 

Every person in your subscriber list is an individual and your email should sound like it’s talking to each one personally. And what a better way to accentuate your prospects’ individuality than address them with their names in the subject line or in the body text? 

While subscribers’ names are mostly used in greetings, personalization shouldn’t be reserved only for this purpose. You can ask questions in your emails to trigger feedback loops or check back in with your prospects occasionally to regain their attention. 

“What do you think of our new product, {{name}}?”. Or “You know what I mean, {{name}}”. 

Just make sure these little additions naturally weave into the email narrative and don’t sound like awkward interruptions detouring readers from the context. 

Despite being one of the last steps in email marketing, personalization should never be an afterthought. 

In fact, you should consider it right from the onset of your lead generation activities, and while collecting subscribers’ email addresses, designate another box to add in their names too. 

Surprisingly, many marketers avoid asking for subscribers’ names, thinking that this extra task will add unnecessary friction to the onboarding, and lower subscription rates. 

Yes, multi-step processes do repel. But adding a first name hardly classifies as a huge commitment, does it? 

What follows afterward, involves just a few twists in the email software to automate the laborious personalization and enjoying a six-fold surge in the conversion rates 🙂 

 

Tip #2: Send out birthday emails

Studies show that businesses that send personalized offers on their prospects’ birthdays reap 324% higher revenue from this single email than from the rest of their email campaigns.

So if birthday emails are still not part of your email marketing, time to jump on its bandwagon!

If you are worried about how to coerce your prospects into giving their birthday dates don’t think too hard! Just send a short sweet email to your subscribers and ask them to fill in their birthday dates with a promise of a lovely surprise on their special day. 

Beyond just the whopping sales, birthday emails go a long way in strengthening customer loyalty towards your brand and inspiring word-of-mouth. Because… who wouldn’t feel flattered after such a thoughtful gesture and likely share their riveting experience with friends and family? 

 

Tip #3: Design with dark mode in mind

With top email service providers such as Gmail, Outlook, and Apple rolling out dark modes, inboxes worldwide are going dark. This means marketers should now keep their eyes peeled for some micro-optimizations to make sure every email in their campaign is equally accessible in light and dark modes alike.

This involves using images with a transparent background (i.e. png), and adding a white stroke around dark-colored texts to make them visible over the dark overlay. 

Besides dark mode, dark-themed emails are trending too. They appear with a dark background despite a user enabling dark mode. Oculus and Apple are just two of the top-notch companies that have opted for dark-themed, sleek email designs to promote their offers. 

If you are inspired by this new vertical, just take a moment to contemplate whether it is in line with your brand as this minimalist approach may not be relevant to every business. 

Know How TCFKnow How TCF

                                                           Source: Really Good Emails

 

Tip #4: Engage your Indiegogo backers with a referral campaign

Whoever backs your campaign on Indiegogo, receives a generic Indiegogo email with the confirmation of their order. Following this, campaigners are hardly in direct touch with their backers besides the occasional updates. 

One of the motifs why many startuppers choose crowdfunding is the tight-knit community of dedicated backers who offer authentic feedback and support to campaigners and become ambassadors to promote their product in their circle of friends. 

Word-of-mouth marketing is not only the best way to promote your crowdfunding campaign and harness waves of sales, but also keeps your backers engaged. 

And the tracking is sinfully easy. 

The first option you can suggest is a bonus they can get while sharing their personal referral link from Indiegogo. This can be a discount or bonus they can redeem later to purchase your other products (if you plan to offer some, of course). 

As a second option, you can share your Kickbooster link. And from every purchase logged via the link, they will earn a commission.

Just note that this referral strategy is not applicable to Kickstarter as you will be granted access to your backers’ emails only after the end of your campaign. 

Choose the best option aligned with your preferences or come up with your own ideas! 

And if you’d feel like you need some validation or expert opinion before you proceed, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments section below. I’ll make sure to check them out and reply to you with my thoughts. 

 

Hone Your Creativity With Brad Hokanson’s Technique

By Van Avetisyan

We all have the desire to be more creative than we are now. But most of us are held back by the preconceived notions that creativity is an inherent quality attributed to people of just a handful of professions — and can rarely be taught. 

If you were to take anything away from my know how, it should be that creativity — just like any other skill on the planet — can be learned through dedicated practice. 

In fact, there is a technique adopted by Brad Hokanson. It’s simple. It’s fun. And it takes just 3-5 minutes a day. 

But before we take a deep dive into this technique, let’s understand what we actually classify as a creative idea. Creativity involves a new approach to doing everyday activities or repurposing items that surround us at every step. 

Take straw as an example. 

Its most common use case is for drinking sodas. But you can also use a straw to drink a mashed broccoli soup. You can even make colorful vases or twinkling white lights with straws!

Know How TCF

                                                        Source: Pinterest

 

And this is the basis of the practice called an originality development engine adapted by Brad Hokanson. Brad has been teaching creative and critical thinking for about 15 years, regularly holding lectures at the University of Minnesota.  

You choose one item that comes to your mind, set the timer for 90 seconds, and start writing all the possible ways — even the most bizarre — an item can be used. 

It can be hard to move past 3-4 applications at the start. But do push through the creative block as the most out-of-box ideas will likely arrive after the tenth when you have exhausted all the potential uses you’ve recollected across your experiences. 

Once you finish the article, here is a little task to start right off the bat. Set the timer to 90 seconds and start pulling out a list of potential applications for the 3 items below. 

  • Paper clip 
  • Phone case 
  • Pen

To get consistent practice every day, you can download the Originality Development Engine app for iOS.

And if you are an Android user, you are in good company! 

Comment your list of applications in the comments below and let’s practice together to get on track. 

 

Become An Early Adopter Of Google’s Keen

By Lusine Navasardyan

Pinterest is growing. It currently stands at 367 million MAU, while Google has 2 billion MAU for the G Suite alone. It is growing, and taking searches away from Google. 

This is why Google has repeatedly sought to add Pinterest-like features and tools, keeping the social app at bay.

Google’s latest attempt on this front is a new app called Keen, which is “a place to grow and share your interests with loved ones, and find things that will help in making this precious life count”.

You make a “keen,” on any topic you want. Whether it’s baking delicious bread at home, getting into birding, enjoying a touch screen monitor, or researching typography. Keen lets you curate the content you love, share your collection with others, and find new content based on what you have saved.”

You also can add articles, news, images yourself, and link them to the websites you want. 

Know How TCF

By Hayarpi Igityan

Tapping into your prospects’ sense of urgency is key to generating successful sales results. Especially on the last days of your campaign. 

You can spice up your ad copy with the exact hours and days left i.e. “last days to get 50% Off” or “3 Days left to catch the deal” to inspire immediate purchases. 

However, the frequent edits or stops to keep the countdown up-to-date tend to hinder your ads’ delivery. But this week, I discovered a clever solution inside Google Ads called countdown customization that automatically updates your countdown without your intervening at all. 

You simply create one ad and the function automatically updates the days and hours remaining.

Countdown customization is available on ad level in headlines or descriptions part. Simply type in {= COUNTDOWN()} and it will prompt a window to set your countdown.     

Know How TCF

As visible in the screenshot, you can select the start and the end day of the countdown, the number of days to be run, and even modify languages.

You can set the timezone as your AdWords account’s or personalize it to that of your viewer. 

Let’s say your sale ends at midnight across all the time zones where your target audience resides. If you use the ad viewer’s time zone option, someone in New York will see your ad read as “Sale ends in 2 hours” while someone in California would see the “Sale ends in 5 hours.” message. 

Awesome, right? 

If you set the Account timezone to midnight, the countdown will end when the clock strikes 12.00 am in your place although it may still be an afternoon on the other side of the ocean. It’s wise to employ this option only if you and your audience live in the same time zone.  

Using the countdown functionality in Google Ads will dramatically increase your ads’ CTR thanks to the scarcity-inducing message, driving in waves of conversions on the last days of your campaign.

 

 

 

————

This much for this week, folks! 

Now it’s your turn! 

Have you already used the automatic countdown timer on your Google ads? Upon a slight edit to update the remaining hours, your ad performance may fluctuate significantly. Also, who enjoys that laborious manual haste?

Have you practised Brad Hokinson’s technique to boost your creativity? Grab a piece of paper, set the timer, and start listing out the most original ways you can use your phone case. Look beyond the obvious and push to crash at least the first ten.

As you walk out with these powerful hacks in your hand, don’t forget to check out our recent Know How to convert a negative comment into a high-converting ad headline. 

And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive an exclusive video tutorial and 4-6 know how hacks straight into your inbox every Thursday! 

I’ll see you next week! 

 

Ani Ter-Margaryan

Ani Ter-Margaryan

I’m a data-driven Digital Marketing enthusiast. Fascinated to watch and act while AI shakes up today's marketing landscape. Have my keen eye pointed at the latest industry trends and love creating engaging digital content.

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