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The Quick Guide to Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns

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Vinod Janapala


If you haven’t yet started planning your email marketing strategy, now is the time to get started. Done right, email marketing can contribute to as much as 20% of all your orders over any festive period, and any event dates. If you want to know how to target your current audience, and gain new leads. Here is the quick guide to event email marketing campaigns.

Essential Parts of an Event Email Campaign

The number one thing you should include in your festive email campaign is personality. This is what draws people to your brand. Aside from this, there are other things to include to improve your conversions and click-through rates. Such as:

Noticeable Subject Lines: The first thing a potential customer sees with your email campaign is your subject line in their inbox. As well as connect well with the prospect, it needs to be personal, to improve click-through rate, transaction rates and revenue.

Mobile Compatibility: Most people read their emails on the go than at their desktop at home, which is why your emails must display correctly on both mobile and other devices.

Social Sharing: Brands can benefit from improved visibility when they are shared on social platforms. So — don’t forget to include links to the most popular ones from your campaigns.

Interesting Design and Content: Firstly, be sure your email is centered around an appropriate event theme, then pay attention to your copy, making sure it is engaging enough for customers to read. This tends to be a winning combination, especially when trying to target customers who are seeking festive discounts.

The Right CTA: The call to action is the link between the email and your website. It needs to encourage customers to complete this action as much as possible. The color of the button should stand out against the background. The text should be catchy but not pushy, and only one CTA per email should be used.

GIF’s: Using a couple of GIF’s can add excitement to your campaign and even help improve click-through rates. Don’t overuse them, though, as some customers find them annoying and confusing.

Discounts and Offers: Customers automatically want discounts and offers around Christmas so they can get ahead on their Xmas shopping. While things like BOGOF can improve sales, don’t go overboard. People appreciate honesty and consistency, which, in turn, help improve loyalty and conversions for you.

In addition to the above, why not get inspired by these creative ideas as well?

Types of Campaigns to Try

While throughout the year, you can send virtually any type of email campaign out, it’s slightly different over the event or festive period. Here are the emails that matter when it comes down to Event campaigns.

1. Welcome Emails: There are lots of benefits to sending welcome emails. As well as making the prospect feel welcome and comfortable, they help create an excellent first impression as well. If they include vouchers or discount codes, they can also help build brand loyalty.

2. Promotional Emails: People love offers and discounts, which is why many people like to receive promotional emails. Sending promotional emails to your prospects and customers can improve conversions, but such emails need to be constructed well. Only include offers you think could be successful, and also consider using countdowns, sliders, or GIFs for that added sense of urgency.

3. Announcement Emails: Similarly, emails showcasing offers or unique event or typical celebration-type arrivals also tend to be successful. Customers love discounts and for brands they love, often eagerly anticipate them arriving in their inbox. Set the offer to be valid for a limited time only, as this only increases customer urgency further.

4. Cart Abandonment Emails: Because more and more people are shopping over the months running up to an event or holiday — abandoned carts seem to be higher around this time. Fortunately, this can be counteracted by sending a customer a personalized email containing a persuasive offer to win them back and make a purchase.

Make the Most of the Run Up to ANY holiday or event Sales.

The busiest time of the year for online retailers tends to be the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year, with events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday being particularly lucrative opportunities. Think Valentines Day, Easter, 4th of July, etc. To make the most of them, and improve your revenue, reach out to your customers with different types of emails. But keep in mind — every holiday — every event– is an opportunity for your retail sales.

Don’t forget these Events this year. Make Your Campain Plans early.

1. Thanksgiving Emails: As one of the major holidays in the US, Thanksgiving usually produces excellent sales for online retailers. They should make the most of this lucrative period by setting up relevant offers and discounts. Or, you might even want to set up automatic email campaigns to say thank you to customers who made a purchase.

2. Black Friday and Cyber Monday Emails: With Black Friday and Cyber Monday being perhaps two of the busiest days of the year for online retailers, it’s essential they promote all their key offers and deals with prospects and existing customers for the best chance of success. As many as 92% of customers fish around the internet to try and find them. So why not make their life easier and land them right in their inbox? It’ll work wonders for your revenue as well.

3. Christmas & New Year Emails: Christmas and New Year are always popular times for shoppers, so online retailers should capitalize on this. Emails are one way to reach out to customers during this crucial time. Just remember to keep it festive-themed, both visually, and with products being promoted. And include offers which encourage customers to make a purchase, like gift vouchers, free shipping, or decent discounts.

8 Steps in Making Your Event Email Campaigns Successful

  1. Take care with subject lines. Done right, they help improve open rates by 41%, which further enhances revenue per email.
  2. Ensure that your emails are responsive. Most people now check emails on their phone.
  3. Don’t forget social links in emails. The more people share offers, the better chance of you boosting your revenue.
  4. Use an appealing theme and catchy text to improve engagement.
  5. Offer things the customer cannot refuse, like discounts and promo codes.
  6. Use call-to-actions in the right way to improve click-through rates and sales.
  7. When customers abandon their cart, win them back with great offers by email.
  8. Up your ante when sending emails between the biggest holidays and events.

Vinod Janapala

Product Marketing Manager

Vinod is Senior Product Marketing Manager at piHappiness – Customer Feedback App & Survey Software. piHappiness is a top customer feedback software designed to collect customer feedback on Web, iPad & Android tablets. Vinod is keen on such topics as marketing, SaaS challenges, and Personal Growth.

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5 Ways To Grow Your Business With Technology

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Brad Anderson


“I’d like my business to remain stagnant.” No entrepreneur, owner, or CEO ever uttered those words. You can be sure none ever will, either. That’s because corporate growth is always an overarching goal for any organization. Growing your business comes with its challenges, of course, like figuring out which steps will make it easiest for you to scale and expand.

One thing’s clear: You need to develop a clear-cut growth strategy. And technology needs to play a huge part in that strategy. After all, we’re living in a primarily technological world. If you’re not making the most of the tech at your fingertips, you regularly miss opportunities to strengthen your brand’s position.

Where can you start? Below are a handful of ways that you can leverage technology to grow your business’s footprint. Try these recommendations, whether you’re a micro startup or a mid-size corporation headed toward a Fortune 500 future.

1. Automate repetitive manual processes.

Is it worth automating all the mindless to-dos in your business in order to grow? Yes, especially if you do the numbers.

McKinsey research studied the ordinary tasks of several occupations. They concluded that around 33% of the tasks of six out of 10 jobs could be automated. For example, let’s say your company is modestly sized at 50 workers. If your staffers work a traditional 40-hour week, 30 of them are frittering away 13 hours. In other words, you’re losing nearly 400 hours weekly to pay employees to handle repetitive duties.

To be sure, not all tasks can be automated. However, you owe it to yourself to find ones that can. For example, is your finance department team processing payroll or inputting invoices by hand? Then, invest in software to remove the tedium—and reduce the chance of human error.

Check out your sales and services processes next. Do your salespeople or support agents have to cut and paste information? Are they forced to switch between two or more programs that don’t communicate? Look for ways to integrate those systems to free up everyone’s valuable time so they can concentrate on growth-based responsibilities.

2. Strive to make customer first impressions stickier with tech tools

Tons of articles highlight the importance of growing your business by retaining customers. It’s true that retention tends to be less expensive than acquisition. Nevertheless, you can’t hold onto your customers until you get them in the door. So put a premium on delivering impeccable first impressions that urge people to stick around.

The right type of technology can assist you in wowing your best leads via an unforgettable customer experience. Take first-time logins, for instance. Okta reports that asking a visitor to set up an account turns off 37% of prospects. So what can you do to overcome this friction point? First, you can rely on social logins to streamline the process. From the customer’s viewpoint, being able to login via already-existing Facebook, Google, or credentials is effortless. From your company’s viewpoint, you can begin marketing to yet another buyer or potential buyer.

A strong CRM can be equally beneficial to moving leads into and down your sales funnel. Once you’ve captured prospects’ data through a social sign-in, personalize future communications like emails, texts, and DMs. Only two years ago, McKinsey found that 80% of retail buyers valued the personal touch. So whether you’re in retail or not, strive for individualization to keep new buyers coming back.

3. Bring a virtual assistant to your team.

You may not have the funds to hire live customer service representatives 24/7. That’s okay. Chatbots can give your organization the ability to offer visitors self-service, even during non-business hours. And they can do it for a fraction of what you’d pay a live agent.

Not sure you’re ready to put your faith in a chatbot? A New York Times article explains that today’s AI-fueled chatbots are only getting smarter. They’re also gaining widespread acceptance, with chatbot growth poised to hit around 15% in 2022. One Gartner executive even predicts that a genuinely conversational AI chatbot program is just around the corner.

Already, some chatbots are inching toward humanlike responses. A University of Florida experiment found that about a third of people could not tell a chatbot from a real person. Consequently, there’s little harm in exploring the wide world of chatbots for your company. Your chatbot doesn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated by customers with questions who want fast answers.

4. Investigate tech solutions to tap into your data.

Tremendous amounts of data flow into your company. Yet it would be impossible for you and your team to make sense of it all. Does that mean you have to give up on finding a way to unearth your data’s insights? Not at all. You just need a tech-based data mining solution.

You have plenty of choices regarding software that can analyze data and find trends. First, though, determine where your data exists. Is it in your CRM? Or a legacy piece of software? Once you know where to find your data, you can search for highly-rated data mining systems.

Be aware that some data mining programs have been developed with specific industries in mind. These can include healthcare, finance, e-commerce, or manufacturing. It never hurts to see if something’s already been created for your sector.

5. Invest in a branded mobile app.

Mobile app use continues to rise. By 2025, one Forbes writer notes that the app market will approach $1 trillion. So why, then, doesn’t your brand have an app of its own?

This is the question a lot of business leaders are asking themselves. Offering customers the chance to interact with your company through an app makes sense. Not only does it give them an immediate connection to your organization, but it simplifies the purchasing process. At the same time, it helps buyers feel that they’re getting special treatment as you deploy push notifications and exclusive offers.

How can you make the most of your app once it’s been developed? First, make sure your customers know it exists. Lots of brands have apps that get very few downloads. The issue isn’t necessarily the app itself. It’s that they don’t know the app is available. Therefore, be diligent and consistent about talking up your app to drive higher usage and conversions.

You’re not alone if you feel that growing your business isn’t happening as fast as you like. Most leaders wish that they could get to the next plateau faster. One method to add a little speed to the process is to lean into the technologies you’re not using yet. Then, with the right combination of tech tools, you should begin to see a positive difference in your numbers.

Image Credit: Artem Podrez; Pexels; Thank you!

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

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The Developer’s Guide to Mobile Authentication

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Deepak Gupta


Mobile app developers must ensure that the mobile app is effortless while keeping internal information protected and secure. Complex or repeated authentications can be frustrating for your mobile app users.

This article discusses various means of simple and secure mobile authentication, ensuring frictionless UI and UX of mobile authentication screens and data security.

What is Mobile Authentication?

Mobile authentication is a security method to verify a user’s identity through mobile devices and mobile apps. It caters to one or more authentication methods to provide secure access to any particular app, resource, or service.

Let’s look at the various mobile authentication methods developers can utilize depending on their business use case.

Mobile Authentication Methods

Password-based Authentication

Email-Password and Username-Password are common types of password-based authentication. While utilizing these methods, developers should consider setting secure and robust password policies in their authentication mechanism, such as:

  • Mandatory use of symbols and numbers
  • Restricting the use of common passwords
  • Blocking the use of profile information in passwords

These measures ensure better quality passwords and prevent user accounts from brute force and dictionary password attacks.

Limitation: Passwords are hard to remember, and typing in passwords on a small mobile screen degrades the user experience. Hence, developers must use authentication that does not compromise the security postures yet provide an appropriate user experience.

Patterns and Digit-based Authentication

The user must set a pattern or a digit-based PIN (typically 4 or 6 digits). Developers can utilize this as an authentication factor for their mobile application, as this authentication method is faster and more comfortable than entering passwords on a mobile screen.

Limitation: Both patterns and 4 or 6 digits PINs are limited. Also, users tend to use simple patterns and PINs like L or S patterns and 1234, 987654, date of birth as their password.

OTP-based Login

Users use an OTP received via SMS or email to authenticate themself. Thus, users do not have to remember a password, pattern, or PIN to access their account. At the same time, developers don’t have to implement password-based security mechanisms.

Biometric Authentication

Biometric authentication uses unique biological traits of users for mobile authentication. Some common examples of biometric authentication are fingerprint scanning, face unlocks, retina scans, and vocal cadence.

Developers can implement pre-coded libraries and modules to enable authentication through mobile components like the finger scanner, camera (for facial recognition), and microphone (for voice-based identification).

Social Login

It acts as a single sign-on authentication mechanism. Developers can implement this in mobile apps to use users’ login tokens from other social networking sites to allow access to the app.

Also, with social login, developers don’t need to worry about storing passwords securely and managing the password recovery option. It helps the user sign in to the mobile app without creating a separate account from within the app, hence increasing the user experience (UX).

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) in Mobile Authentication

Login and registration screens are a gateway to your mobile applications; if they are a hassle, the user might not bother using the application. Thus, developers should pay a lot of attention to these screens regarding user experience and usage.

Here are some quick tips for mobile authentication screens:

  • Simple Registration Process: Lengthy registration forms are a big no-no. Brainstorm essential information for creating an account via mobile application and only include those fields.
  • External or Social Login: Allow users to log in via external or social accounts. This way, users don’t have to remember another password or credentials for your app.
  • Facilitate Resetting: Include forget password on the login screen for good visibility and reach if the app provides password-based login. Also, setting the new password should be seamless and fast.
  • Keep Users Logged In: Not logging out users on app close is helpful in a good experience. However, this depends on the type of app you offer. Developers should include MFA for better security if the app stores sensitive information or skip the stay logged-in feature altogether.
  • Meaningful Error Messages: Errors and how they are handled directly impact user experience. Thus, developers should keep error messages meaningful and clearly state what went wrong and how to fix it.

Tip: Customize the mobile app keyboard for the type of input field. For example – display a numeric keyboard when asking for a PIN and include @ button when asking for an email address.

Conclusion

Considering the above points would result in a great and secure user experience for your mobile app users. However, if you feel executing these guidelines would take ample time, be informed that CIAM solutions are available in the market to handle all these requirements for you.

Deepak Gupta

Co-founder and CTO @LoginRadius

Founder and CTO @LoginRadius, Software Entrepreneur. I love to write about Cyber Security, AI, Blockchain, Infrastructure Architecture, Software Development, Cyberspace Vulnerabilities, Product Management, Consumer IAM, and Digital Identities.

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10 Practical Ways to Maximize Your After-Work Time

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Calendar


After‌ ‌work, you probably want a relaxing, stress-free night. And that makes sense. Planning activities like reading or meditating can help relieve stress when things get tough at work.

In addition, you can use this time to expand your knowledge or develop your skills. Additionally, you can engage in new experiences or pursue a passion.

The benefits of participating in these activities can range from increasing your productivity to improving your health and general well-being.

With that said, here are 10 practical ways to maximize your after-work time.

1. Tie up loose ends.

My mom had a tradition that she followed every evening when I was a child. As soon as we got home from school, we had to clean up the house. It wasn’t a long bit of cleaning — usually, she set a timer for 20-minutes. Obviously, we whined about this and the time trying to get out of it was likely longer than the actual time spent. But this effort and habit kept the house tidy and saved us from major cleanings if the cleaning had waited until the weekend.

After I finish working for the day, I will set a timer for 20-30 minutes and tidy up. ‌Or,‌ ‌I‌ ‌can‌ ‌handle items on my to-do list I couldn’t do during the day. Even though that’s not a lot of time, you’d be surprised at what you can actually accomplish.

You can clean dishes, fold laundry, make a grocery list, clean your calendar, or send‌ an important ‌email. ‌In addition, a timer can be a great way to tie up the day’s loose‌ ‌ends‌ ‌and help your transition from work.

2. Get a weeknight hobby.

Commit to an out-of-the-home activity after work. Some ideas could be an exercise class, volunteering, or a night out with friends. ‌Then, rather than spending your time at home, you’ll have more time to do what you ‌care‌ ‌about.

“By scheduling your time after work, you are more likely to stick to your most important ‘to-do’ items. Many people find that they are most productive when they have more to do,” says Dr. Lisa N. Folden, licensed physical therapist and naturopathic lifestyle coach, owner of Healthy Phit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants. “By having a scheduled event after work—especially one that can double as exercise—you have more accountability to avoid sitting around aimlessly scrolling through your phone or watching TV.”

3. Sweat it out.

Yes, I am aware. ‌You’re well aware of the importance of physical activity. ‌However, this still can’t be stressed enough. There is no doubt that a regular exercise program boosts your creativity, confidence, and resilience — whether in the workplace or the home.

In short, moving your body is one of the best things you can do to boost your productivity. ‌After all, exercising relieves stress and relieves mental strain. The result? You’ll sleep better and be more energetic.

So, block out time at the end of the day — to go for a run, ride a bike, or join an exercise class. Other ideas would be playing with your pet or kids, dancing, or getting caught up on a chore.

4‌. ‌Enjoy‌ ‌the‌ ‌company of those‌ ‌you‌ ‌love.

Spend quality time with those who are important to you, such as family, friends, and colleagues. ‌Not only does it make life worthwhile, but it’s good for you too. ‌It releases endorphins and lowers stress when you talk to your spouse, kids, siblings, parents, or friends. Even a simple phone call with a loved one can benefit your well-being.

What’s more, with friends and family, there are lots of fun things to do, such as;

  • Go to a restaurant or host dinner ‌at‌ ‌home.
  • Visit a museum or art gallery.
  • Go for a walk after dinner.
  • Host a game night.
  • Attend a concert or sporting event.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Participate in a group activity, like bowling.
  • Attend classes together.

5. Address your needs.

“This may seem totally out of place in an article about getting a lot done after work, but hear me out,” writes Rachell Buell over The Muse. “While it’s very important to make the most of your time, the only way you will have enough energy to do so is by first attending to your basic needs.” ‌Also, get plenty of sleep, eat, and relax. “By addressing these needs, you allow yourself the quintessential element to productivity: sustainability.”

“A few weeks ago, I had a serious moment of panic,” Buell shares. “Feeling completely overwhelmed by everything on my plate, I lost my cool.” ‌Regaining my composure, I came up with a brilliant idea:‌ ‌a sanity‌ ‌list,” she added.

“The list included things like doing daily yoga and drinking 64 ounces of water every day of water ‌and‌ ‌cuddling‌ ‌with‌ ‌my‌ ‌husband. ‌Whenever I cross everything off my list, I feel like a million bucks, and I’m fired up for more.”

“After a long day of work, most of us need time to switch gears and give ourselves a mental break before we try to accomplish anything else,” Buell says. “Whether that’s plopping in front of the TV to catch up on the day’s news or going for a jog to take the edge off, take a moment and consider what you need to feel recharged during the week, and keep it on your sanity list.”

6. Write out your priorities.

Is there ever a time when you feel like something is a high priority when it’s ‌not? ‌When prioritizing productivity, it can be easy to focus on getting more done rather than considering what is really important.

At the beginning of each week, I find it helpful to prioritize everything on my to-do list. Then, during the week, I navigate my time more efficiently by determining how essential a given item is. Personally, I use the Eisenhower Matrix to assist me with this.

By figuring out where each item fits in, you can focus on where to begin. ‌For example, when doing home projects, start with the most essential stuff — then move to the middle and lower priority stuff. ‌With work projects, you can start the next day knowing what needs to happen in what order.

Best of all? Creating a list of priorities can help you feel accomplished even if you don’t start the project yet.

7. Get outside.

Are you familiar with “nature deficit disorder”? ‌Initially, Richard Louv used the phrase in his book Last‌ ‌Child‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Woods:‌ ‌Saving‌ ‌Our‌ ‌Children‌ ‌From‌ ‌Nature-Deficit‌ ‌Disorder. ‌Louv‌ ‌says our indoor lifestyles are causing a lot of health and behavioral issues.

Even if you think that’s a stretch, studies have found that we spend 92% of time indoors. And that can negatively influence our physical and mental health. Why? Because it’s a simple way to reduce stress, increase happiness, and live healthier.

Moreover, connecting with nature and the outdoors can replenish your energy.

With that in mind, Rachel Hopman, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Northeastern University, suggests that you live by the 20-5-3 rule;

  • 20-minutes. ‌Twenty minutes is how much time you should spend outside, like at ‌a‌ ‌neighborhood‌ ‌park,‌ ‌three‌ ‌times‌ ‌a‌ ‌week.
  • 5-hours. ‌Five hours is the minimum amount of time you should spend each month in semi-wild nature, like a forest‌, city, or state‌ ‌park.
  • 3-days. ‌You should go camping or rent a cabin three times a year to escape it all.

8. Power down.

In today’s culture, many of us are overly attached to social media and our smartphones. In fact, DataReportal estimates the average American looks at a screen for 7 hours and 4 minutes a ‌day. So why’s that a problem? Research has found too much screen time cal lead to digital eye strain, impaired sleep, and ‌diminished mental health.

Furthermore, too much screen time can result in information overload. And it’s also distracting when we’re trying to get things done.

Therefore, setting boundaries around your phone and social media use is vital. For example, set a timer to limit how long you ‌play‌ ‌games‌, watch videos, ‌or‌ ‌scroll ‌on social‌ ‌media. If that doesn’t work, keep your phone in a different room or make sure you shut down all social media at a specific time each night.

Initially, this will be awkward. But you may be surprised how much more alive you feel when you’re away from screens. ‌Eventually, you’ll feel re-energized rather than worn out‌ ‌after‌ ‌work.

9. Invest in yourself.

Did you know that the former CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo, studied improv comedy? Why? ‌Learning improv comedy improved his leadership skills.

Investing in yourself is ‌vital to success, whether that means getting some coaching, participating in psychotherapy, taking a workshop, working on more hours for graduate school, or completing a certification program. You could also learn how to play a musical instrument, join a book club, watch a documentary, or take a language course.

Overall, you’ll succeed in your professional career whether you invest in your mind, body, or spirit.

10. Follow an evening routine.

“It’s clear that you need a specific morning routine to optimize each day and be more efficient,” writes Choncé Maddox in a previous Calendar post. However, “a successful morning routine actually starts the night before,” she adds. “Simply put, you need an effective evening routine to maximize efficiency and productivity the following day.”

So, what should your evening routine consist of? Well, that’s up to you. But, here are some suggestions worth exploring;

  • Plan out your day. ‌Look at your calendar to find out what’s on your agenda for tomorrow. Doing so gets you mentally prepared and makes any adjustments.
  • Pick out your clothes. ‌The task may sound insignificant. But it will save you a lot of time and energy that you could use elsewhere.
  • Eliminate negativity and reflect. ‌You can reflect on your day in the evening and choose‌ ‌gratitude‌ ‌over negativity.
  • Read. ‌Turn off the television and read a book while you wind down for the evening.
  • Prepare meals. Mornings are already hectic. Save your sanity and energy by preparing your meals the night before.

Published First on Calendar. Read Here.

Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thank you!

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