ShortStack Create web Campaigns, Facebook apps, Facebook contests and custom forms 2016-11-30T16:13:41Z http://www.shortstack.com/feed/atom/ Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[17+ Tools for Christmas and December Holiday Marketing 2016]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=23901 2016-11-29T23:11:45Z 2016-11-30T16:13:41Z We’ve been hard at work pulling together all of our best holiday resources, along with some new ones, to help you meet your 2016 holiday marketing goals. You’ll find details and links to all these resources on our Holiday Workshop page, including: 7 Professionally Designed Holiday Templates ShortStack’s pro designers have built an entire library of...]]>

We’ve been hard at work pulling together all of our best holiday resources, along with some new ones, to help you meet your 2016 holiday marketing goals.

You’ll find details and links to all these resources on our Holiday Workshop page, including:

7 Professionally Designed Holiday Templates

ShortStack’s pro designers have built an entire library of templates you can use right away.

Choose Your Present 

Choose Your Present (Advanced)

Win Your Wishlist

Unlock Your Discount

Pick a Box

Holiday Calendar Giveaway

Give Some Love Valentine’s Day (for those of you who are planning waaaay ahead!)

5 Seasonal Themes

Once you’ve chosen a template, make it seasonal by adding one of our themes.

• Ornaments

• Christmas (2)

• Christmas lights

• New Year’s

• Valentine’s Day

5 Quick Start Guides and Videos

If you learn best by reading, check out our step-by-guides. If you prefer watching video tutorials, we’ve got those, too. We’ve got instructions on how to build our most popular holiday campaigns, including:

• Holiday Giveaway Calendar — a step-by-step guide to building our popular multi-day giveaway

• Pick Your Box Campaign

• Build a Photo Vote Contest in 12 Easy Steps

• Build a Simple Choose Your Present Campaign

• Build an Advanced Choose Your Present Campaign

You’ll find all these resources in our library. 

NEW: Custom Design Services

Shortstack now offers custom design services.Learn how our designers and the rest of our team can help you build elaborate campaigns with suites of custom features, or simple lead-generating social media contests.

Case Studies

See how other businesses are seeing success during the holidays using features like ShortStack’s Advent Calendar and website embed capabilities.

And, as always, if you have questions about ShortStack, email: theteam@shortstacklab.com!

 

]]>
Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[Best Hashtags for Holiday Sales and Marketing]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=24110 2016-11-29T21:10:02Z 2016-11-29T09:07:01Z Ready to make a Christmas list? No, not a list of gifts, but rather a list of hashtags to use for your Christmas and December holiday-related contests, giveaways, and other seasonal promotions. On both Instagram and Twitter, hashtags remain a popular way to start conversations around information people are looking for during this time of year,...]]>

Ready to make a Christmas list?

No, not a list of gifts, but rather a list of hashtags to use for your Christmas and December holiday-related contests, giveaways, and other seasonal promotions.

On both Instagram and Twitter, hashtags remain a popular way to start conversations around information people are looking for during this time of year, and they’re also a way for people who are looking for specific things to discover your brand.

Here are a few hashtags that might be use for your holiday marketing efforts, along with a few suggestions for topics you could center your online conversations around. Ideally, you want to use some broad hashtags, like the ones on this

Ideally, you want to use some general hashtags, like the ones on this list, and create at least one that is unique to your brand.

If you’ve had luck helping people discover your brand using hashtags during the holidays, let us know on Twitter. Use the hashtag #HashtagTheHolidays.

And if you’ve ever wanted to host a hashtag giveaway, you can learn about ShortStack’s hashtag contest capabilities here.

Shopping and Sales

Tis the season when people are looking for deals. And they’re increasingly looking for deals via their smartphones where hashtags are especially at home.

#BlackFriday

#BlackFri

#CyberMonday

#CyberMon

#HolidaySavings (special offers)

#HolidayDeals

#HolidayDeal

#FreeShipping

#SuperSaturday

#GivingTuesday

#DIY

#Handmade

#wishlist ((To find out what your customers really want — take it a step further and use ShortStack to host a “Win Your Wishlist” giveaway.)

#Shopping

#Christmas (favorite Christmas traditions, recipes, gift ideas)

#Hannukah (favorite Hannukah traditions, recipes and gift ideas)

#Kwanza (favorite Kwanza traditions, recipes and gift ideas)

#NewYears (celebration ideas, recipes, resolutions, accomplishments)

Charitable Giving

#GivingTuesday

#Charity

#Donate

#Donation

Travel

When it comes to creating hashtags for travel, the sky’s the limit.

Hashtag your location

What are you showing off? Your hotel? Your restaurant? Your brick and mortar location? You can use hashtags to help people find you.

#LakeTahoe

#SanFrancisco

#NewYork

#NYC

#LosAngeles

#Chicago

Hashtag the points of interest around you

#StatueOfLiberty

#GoldenGateBridge

#CentralPark

#MiracleMile

#DodgerStadium

#SpaceNeedle

Hashtag things to do around your location/hotel

#Skiing

#Hiking

#FlyFishing

#Theater

#Cycling

#Museums

#ChelseaMarket

Restaurants

The good news for restaurant owners is that food is always trending! On Instagram, especially, people love to share images of what they’re eating and what they’re cooking.

#Breakfast

#WhatsForBreakfast

#brunch

#SundayBrunch

#nomnom

#goodeats

#tasty

#healthy

#vegetarian

#vegan

#goodeats

#recipe

#paleo

#cleaneating

#whole30

#organic

#yummy

#pizza

#chinese

#wine

#IPA

#local

 

Best Practices for Hashtags

• Use hashtags that relate to your brand, not just because they’re “trending.” If you hop on a hashtag bandwagon in order to align your brand, or your offer, with something newsworthy, you might catch some attention, but it might not be the attention you want.

• Pay attention to readability. You’ll note that in some hashtags above, we use the lower case, and in others we use upper and lower cases. There isn’t a right or wrong way, just make sure your hashtags are readable. For example, #blackfridaysale is more difficult to make sense of then #BlackFridaySale. Twitter and Instagram don’t distinguish  between cases so a search for #blackfridaysale and #BlackFridaySale will return the same list.

• Don’t overdo it. Yes, hashtags are fun as long as you don’t get carried away. For awhile, prevailing wisdom on Instagram was that 11 hashtags was the sweet spot and on Twitter, two seems to be the consensus. That said, use hashtags that make sense for your brand and for whatever you’re trying to accomplish with your post.

 

]]>
Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[Why Hosting Giveaways During the Holidays is Good for Business]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=20943 2016-11-28T18:58:07Z 2016-11-28T19:00:19Z Have you been struggling with finding new customers? Want to know one of the best ways to boost traffic to your website, collect valuable leads and, ultimately, increase sales? In a word: contests. Giving something away — whether it’s a prize or a coupon — is a terrific way to attract people to your business. Whether...]]>

Have you been struggling with finding new customers? Want to know one of the best ways to boost traffic to your website, collect valuable leads and, ultimately, increase sales?

In a word: contests.

Giving something away — whether it’s a prize or a coupon — is a terrific way to attract people to your business. Whether you’ve never run a giveaway before, or have hosted many, contests can motivate people to share their enthusiasm for your brand and inspire them to check in with you often to see what’s new with you.

There are many variations, but these are the most popular kinds of giveaways that will allow you to collect the contact info you want:

  1. Sweepstakes — in which you ask people to give you a name and email address in order to be entered for a chance to win. Here’s an example of a simple Sweepstakes.


2. Share -- in which you ask people to share a piece of content or the entry form in order to be entered for a chance to win. This example is from Star Fine Foods (we also have a link to a case study from this campaign below).

3. Vote -- in which you ask people to vote on a piece of content you created. Here's an example from NEED ONE.

4. User-generated Content Contest -- in which you ask people to create their own content (UGC) in order to be entered to win. Here's an example from Benefit (it was for Mother's Day but could easily be used for any occasion).

Learn more about how you can use ShortStack from these case studies about successful users:

Camp Chef used ShortStack to increase giveaway entries by 107%

Advanced Micro Devices used ShortStack to collect 98,000 leads. 

Star Fine Foods used ShortStack to increase website traffic by 288%.

Marketing Profs used ShortStack and an Instagram contest to grow their Instagram followers by 152%.

Zipcar UK used ShortStack to grow their email list by 717%.

By the way, it is possible to measure the results of your contests and other social media efforts. Interested in learning more about ShortStack's capabilities? Schedule a demo! 

 

]]>
Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[Thanksgiving Contest and Coupon Ideas [Live Examples]]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=24594 2016-11-28T19:00:24Z 2016-11-23T18:58:58Z The holiday marketing hustle is in full swing! Don’t let your messages get lost in the rush of holiday advertising. This week’s showcase is full of ideas to help you create unique contests, coupons and giveaways that stand out in a crowd! Almond Roca’s “Black Friday/Cyber Monday Coupon” Sign-up The biggest shopping day of the year...]]>

The holiday marketing hustle is in full swing! Don’t let your messages get lost in the rush of holiday advertising. This week’s showcase is full of ideas to help you create unique contests, coupons and giveaways that stand out in a crowd!

Almond Roca’s “Black Friday/Cyber Monday Coupon” Sign-up

The biggest shopping day of the year is right around the corner! It’s the perfect time to make your devoted customers feel special. Almond Roca created a simple and effective coupon offering a Black Friday/Cyber Monday discount to those who submit their email address. This is a great way to collect information in order to contact customers after the holidays have passed! Almond Roca’s coupon also allows folks to start their shopping a few days early, giving them more time to take advantage of the offer. Now that’s helpful!

Use our Black Friday/Cyber Monday Template to build one of your own.

Lanier Islands’ “Winter Win Your Wishlist” Giveaway

NEWSFLASH - Wishlists aren’t just for products! In their “Winter Win Your Wishlist” giveaway, Lanier Islands does an exemplary job of creating a wishlist where people win experiences. Entrants create wishlists from different activities they can enjoy while staying at Lanier Islands. They also have the option to share their wishlists, which are displayed on the Campaign for everyone to see, making it easy for them to give their wishlists to friends and family.

Use our Win Your Wishlist Template to build one of your own.

Practical Parenting’s “Write & Win” Competition

Looking for a way to show off some of your products? Host a contest where users need to choose the prize they want to win. Practical Parenting’s “Write & Win” competition adds an interesting twist to the traditional sweepstakes by asking users to choose from one of six prizes, each being given away in different quantities. Entrants have greater chances of winning lower-value prizes, like one of 50 $50 gift vouchers, and lower chances of winning more expensive items. This is also a great way to learn which products your users are most interested in, while collecting email addresses for future marketing.

Use our Pick a Box Template to build one of your own.

Lowe’s Market’s “Gobble Gobble” Giveaway

Do you want to run a contest, but you aren’t sure what to give the winner? Thoughtful prizes go a long way! The “Gobble Gobble” giveaway from Lowe’s Market is a perfect example. The winner receives two turkeys -- one for their Thanksgiving feast, and one to donate to their favorite charity. This is a wonderful way to tie the giving spirit of the holidays to a sweepstakes.

Use our Simple Sweepstakes Template to  build your own.

Need more ideas?

To get more campaign ideas, just hit the "Campaign Ideas" category on the ShortStack blog. We've also got more than 100 templates (and the majority of them are free for all users!) you can use to create contests, promotions, giveaways, landing pages, forms and more. All you need to access them is a ShortStack account (and that's free, too!).

 

]]>
Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[12 Secret Facebook Features Every Marketer Should be Using [Infographic]]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=24581 2016-11-16T21:44:57Z 2016-11-22T14:00:16Z Facebook is kind of like the yellow pages were in the 19…..well, until Facebook came along! It’s a place where all businesses must have a presence. And even though we all get frustrated with it every now and again — another new algorithm?! — it can be a very useful marketing tool. If you need help...]]>

Facebook is kind of like the yellow pages were in the 19…..well, until Facebook came along! It’s a place where all businesses must have a presence. And even though we all get frustrated with it every now and again — another new algorithm?! — it can be a very useful marketing tool. If you need help getting your page set up, use this template guide. And then take a second to learn

Here are 12 secret Facebook features every marketer needs to know, and should be using.

Thanks to our friends at Post Planner for this one!

  1. Save articles with the “save” feature. This will help you curate content you can use for future posts.
  2. Leverage “interest lists” to stay organized. You can create Facebook lists by country/region/state/city or by industry (advertising, aerospace, consumer goods, etc.) or by medium (traditional journalism vs. citizen journalism) or by interest (business, competitors).
  3. Monitor your competitors’ top posts. You can see top posts from pages you watch within Facebook insights, which helps you monitor your competitors.
  4. Download your business’ Facebook history.
  5. Tag more personal profiles to get more Facebook interaction. You can notify people you’d like to see your post by clicking on “edit post” and then typing @ before the person’s name. Hit “done editing” and a notification is sent.
  6. Pin posts to the top of your timeline to increase visibility. If there’s a post you really want people to see, just “pin to top.”
  7. Find evangelists and weed out fakes within your fan list. Go to page settings, click on “People and other pages” and look for “People who like this page.”
  8. Mark all Facebook notifications as “read.”
  9. Use post attribution settings to keep your business and personal posting separate.
  10. Filter your page posts by type to save time.
  11. Manage notifications and emails so you keep your inbox clear.
  12. Keep tabs on ad relevance so you can ensure your ads are delivered to the right audience.

12_secret_facebook_features_every_marketer_should_be_using_2016

]]>
Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[Holiday Contest Planning Guide]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=24627 2016-11-21T18:53:31Z 2016-11-21T17:29:06Z December is less than two weeks away, which means your holiday marketing plans are well underway. You’ve been preparing for weeks, so now it’s time to take a look at what you’ve got in the pipeline, and refine your plans. If you’re still in need of some last-minute ideas, check out our Holiday Marketing Playbook, where...]]>

December is less than two weeks away, which means your holiday marketing plans are well underway. You’ve been preparing for weeks, so now it’s time to take a look at what you’ve got in the pipeline, and refine your plans.

If you’re still in need of some last-minute ideas, check out our Holiday Marketing Playbook, where you’ll find templates and tutorials, plus plenty of tips for ways to connect with your customers during this busy time of year.

This brief guide and checklist below are meant to help you and your team quickly plan holiday contests.

Whether you want to increase the number of people who follow your brand, collect more email addresses to build segmented lists, or want to collect user-generated content to use for future marketing efforts, a contest is the easiest way to do it.

Here’s your contest planning guide.

]]>
Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[Ways to Take Advantage of the User-Generated Content Trends for the Holidays]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=23737 2016-11-17T22:15:03Z 2016-11-17T20:30:22Z The holiday season offers tons of opportunities for engaging with your customers, and to get a peek into how they are using your products and services.  This year, user-generated content contests continue to fill social media platforms because they’re generally easy to build, and fun for users. Tapping into user-generated content — often referred to as...]]>

The holiday season offers tons of opportunities for engaging with your customers, and to get a peek into how they are using your products and services.  This year, user-generated content contests continue to fill social media platforms because they’re generally easy to build, and fun for users. Tapping into user-generated content — often referred to as just UGC — allows you to give a little (a prize or discount offer) and get a little (such as demographic data, or email addresses).

A UGC contest means that you ask participants to contribute content in order to enter your contest — for instance, they share photos, stories, or videos in exchange for a chance to win or access your offer. By asking for users’ content, you’re giving participants an authentic way to engage with your brand.

Hashtag contests, a type of UGC contest, are also ideal for the holidays.  This type of contest is huge on Instagram, which is already a high-engagement platform. A hashtag contest requires users to post a picture or video to Instagram or Twitter, and use a designated hashtag in the caption. This automatically enters them into a contest. It’s a great way to use the existing functionality of Instagram and Twitter, and help expose your brand to new people on those platforms. ShortStack just launched its new hashtag contest, which you can read all about here, and you’ll find all of our holiday templates — plus tutorials and tips for how to use them — on our holiday marketing page.

Create a community around your brand by having users contribute to your contest or promotion. When participants have a say in the outcome, they’re more invested in it and perhaps even more willing to share your promotion,  exposing your brand to a wider audience of like-minded people. You can even offer extra points or entries to participants using ShortStack’s Refer-a-Friend feature, which automatically tracks how many people have entered a contest based off of a participant’s shared post.

Best Practices for Hosting a UGC Campaign

If you’re planning to run a UGC campaign for the holidays, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Make it easy to participate. 
    Keep your contest simple. Nothing is more frustrating to a participant than having to jump through a ton of hoops to enter. If you’re running a UGC video contest, consider letting people upload short videos straight from Instagram instead of requiring a 10 minute long, highly produced video that requires time and equipment. The simpler your promotion is, the more submissions you’re likely to get. Using ShortStack, you can streamline the entry process and make it mobile-friendly, too!
  2. Make sure the prize you’re offering is worth the effort required to enter.
    We’ve written extensively about the power of an effective prize, and you can read all about that here. Your prize should match the effort of entering. For instance, a free sticker probably isn’t a big enough prize if you’re asking people to make a two-minute video. A prize is all about creating perceived value of the prize itself, and of your brand and services. The prize should be rewarding and enticing based on what you’re asking from users.
  3. Ask for entries you can use for future marketing campaigns.
    If you’re collecting great stories or visual art, consider asking your participants if you can use these in future marketing efforts. Images and videos of people out in the world using your product are invaluable, and they help build authenticity with potential customers. The UGC you’re collecting is gold. What better way to show off your brand than by your actual customers who love it?
  4. Follow the law.
    One of the questions we get asked most frequently has to do with legal issues. Legality can be daunting, especially for small business owners, but it’s important that you cover your bases when running a promotion. While we don’t offer official legal advice, this post about social media contest rules may help you on your way. If you’re offering a prize, we always recommend running your contest by a lawyer.

Now you know a bit about how to use UGC as part of your marketing plan, we hope you’ll have fun creating UGC contests of your own. If you liked this post, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog. And if you haven’t already, set up your free ShortStack account so you can build UGC contests and other promotions.

]]>
Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[Facebook Holiday Contests: 12 Last-Minute Super Festive Ideas [Infographic]]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=19817 2016-11-29T21:50:11Z 2016-11-16T17:03:17Z Wait, what?! You haven’t put up any contests or other promotions for the holidays yet? No worries! We’ve got 12 really easy Facebook contest ideas that you can implement in minutes, right here! We were inspired to put this infographic together when we looked at aggregated data from ShortStack users. We analyzed more than 50,000 active Facebook Pages and 300,000...]]>

Wait, what?! You haven’t put up any contests or other promotions for the holidays yet? No worries! We’ve got 12 really easy Facebook contest ideas that you can implement in minutes, right here! We were inspired to put this infographic together when we looked at aggregated data from ShortStack users.

We analyzed more than 50,000 active Facebook Pages and 300,000 custom campaigns, like contests and giveaways, that serve more than 1.4 billion Facebook fans and, among the things we discovered: Engagement in December increases by as much as 66 percent on custom Facebook apps!

Other data we uncovered about brands using Facebook apps during the month of December:

  •  During December, brands see a 66% increase in contest submissions
  • During December, there’s a 57% increase in custom Facebook Page app shares

  • During December, there’s a 47% increase in custom Facebook Page app views

  • During December, there’s a 33% increase in custom Facebook Page app shares to specific Facebook friends

  • But even if you don’t use apps for your Facebook contests and promotions, you can still put up some engaging contests. 

    Now who’s ready to get festive on Facebook?

    original_holiday-contest-ideasIf you’d like a direct download for this infographic, click the green button below! And since it’s the season for giving, please do share this link with your friends :)download-button

]]>
Ashley Hennefer <![CDATA[Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday Engagement Stats]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=24207 2016-11-10T18:02:34Z 2016-11-10T20:00:59Z Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the busiest days of the year for many retailers. Black Friday focuses on in-store shopping, while Cyber Monday is all about online deals. Which one should you focus on? Is it better to put your marketing efforts toward Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, or both? To help you...]]>

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the busiest days of the year for many retailers. Black Friday focuses on in-store shopping, while Cyber Monday is all about online deals. Which one should you focus on? Is it better to put your marketing efforts toward Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, or both? To help you make a decision, here’s an infographic with some interesting statistics. Black Friday Dealer, which analyzes Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends, highlights some key differences in user behavior for those two holidays.

Key takeaways:

  • Customers are 30% more social on Black Friday than Cyber Monday, so consider running a Black Friday promotion, such as a coupon or deal, for the week leading up to that event.
  • Facebook is popular for Cyber Monday engagement, whereas Pinterest and Email is where Black Friday-related engagement occurs most often. This is a great time to publish your ShortStack Campaign to Facebook, where it will be hosted as a tab.
  • Amazon, unsurprisingly, is the top brand people engage with on Cyber Monday.
  • Visual social platforms, like Pinterest, are great for highlighting must-have holiday products. Create a Pin and Win Contest to draw new followers to your Pinterest profile.

Check out the full infographic below:

black friday infographic

]]>
Dana Kilroy <![CDATA[9 Ways to Leverage the Data You Collect From Your Fans During the Holidays]]> http://www.shortstack.com/?p=20570 2016-11-09T22:46:31Z 2016-11-09T14:39:38Z Unless you’re a large brand that everyone has heard of, chances are you’re always looking for ways to engage with and learn about your fans and potential customers. Contests and promotions remain a fun way for followers to interact with their favorite brands. After all, who doesn’t love winning a contest? I can go buy myself...]]>

Unless you’re a large brand that everyone has heard of, chances are you’re always looking for ways to engage with and learn about your fans and potential customers.

Contests and promotions remain a fun way for followers to interact with their favorite brands. After all, who doesn’t love winning a contest? I can go buy myself a new t-shirt but if I win one (even if it has a brand’s logo on it), it’s so much cooler!

However, contests and promotions are only powerful if you do something with the data you collect.

We also understand that sometimes it can be hard to see the bigger picture and know exactly what your next move is going to be.

That’s why today we want to provide you with 9 ways that you can leverage the data you collect from your fans.

#1. Run an Email Marketing Campaign

This is by far the most common and successful strategy we see. First off, our research has shown that 94.7% of brands use their promotion forms to collect an email address.

 Another study, done by McKinsey & Company, found that email is nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers.

People are on social media to be social (duh!), and most people don’t want to be sold. However, most people are more than willing to provide their email address for a chance to win something.

It’s best to do a little research before diving into your marketing campaign. What marketers are sending, versus what consumers are consuming is a little off.  For example, according to Business2Community these are the top three uses of emails:

• Newsletters (66%)
• Promotional content (54%)
• Welcome series emails (42%)

However, these are the most effective emails:

• Mobile opt-ins (76%)
• Birthday emails (75%)
• Transactional emails (74%)

The takeaway — don’t rush the sale on social or via email. Use your promotion or contest to collect an email address (and maybe even some additional information, like a birth date) and craft a strategic email marketing campaign that will keep you in communication with your fans even when you’re not on social media.

#2: Keep the Conversation Going

One of the best examples we’ve seen of a company that kept the conversation going through the data they collected from a promotion was when loan servicer, Great Lakes, used a Facebook giveaway to help their customers learn more about student loan borrowing.

Great Lakes promotion featured a quiz with five questions relating to student loans. Fans were not required to take the quiz in order to enter the promotion, but the educational questions combined with the fact that everyone loves a quiz, attracted their entrants to participate. While Great Lakes grand prize was a $6,000 payment towards a student loan, they closely monitored their quiz answers and used that to craft their social media and email marketing messages to their followers. They were even able to provide resources to help address the questions they were seeing from their followers.

Hundreds of fans Liked, Commented and Shared the sweepstakes and were exposed to the additional resources and tips that Great Lakes was posting on their Timeline. Compared to a year before, the percentage of fans that had a direct conversation with Great Lakes on Facebook tripled.

Sometimes the most powerful data you can collect is knowledge. Getting creative with your promotions and contests can lead to invaluable conversations with your audience.

#3: Ask for Reviews/Feedback

Reviews and feedback can help draw more customers to your business, more eyes to your website and more money in your pocket.  With the number of review sites out there, most people understand the importance of a review and are more than willing to share their opinion.

If you’re one of the 94.7% of people who are collecting an email address from your followers, use one of your emails to ask your customers for some feedback or to review your brand/product. If you know you plan on eventually asking for reviews/feedback from your entrants, it may be worth it to add some additional form fields such as whether they’re an existing or new customer, how long they’ve been a customer, etc. This will help better analyze the feedback you receive.

If you’re asking for testimonials, make sure you ask for permission to feature the testimonial on your website/blog/social networks.

#4: Offer Something Exclusive

Even though email marketing is still a majorly successful communication tactic, people are still inundated with emails every day, and marketers still need to find a way to stand out in the crowd.

Exclusivity is a great way to not only incentivize your entrants but to also get a little more out of your fans than you previously would have.

Let’s say you’re a beauty salon and you run a promotion where you ask fans to provide their email address for a chance to win a beauty package, then you include a link that suggests they subscribe to your email list, which one sounds better?

• Subscribe to our email list!
• Subscribe to our email list and receive a free gift!

Obviously a free gift is much more enticing than simply subscribing. Exclusivity instills excitement for your product, and excitement for your product builds brand loyalty. Loyal fans mean loyal customers!

#5: Offer a Discount

More than 93% of Americans use couponsThis means that those price-conscious shoppers are more likely to hit up your business if they’re offered a little discount of some sort.

Offering a coupon is pretty simple, it can be done as a promotion or it can be another email marketing strategy (are you seeing a trend here?!)

If you’re wondering what types of coupons sway online shoppers, research has shown that deals that offer a specific dollar amount off of a purchase rank most favorably. On the other hand, free shipping is not appealing to consumers so try and come up with something a little more valuable.

#6: Educate

As marketers, it’s hard to not think about the sale. Ultimately, every business’s goal is to get a sale! However, the path taken to get to a sale has vastly changed.

As I’ve previously mentioned, people on social don’t want to be sold and marketers are fighting to stand out in the social, email, and online crowds.

Sometimes, well most of the time, the most successful path you can take to the sale is an educational one.

Whichever data you collect from your fans; email address, location, favorite activities, life stories, etc., use that information to simply educate your fans further about your brand and industry.

Depending on your business, there’s a chance that your customers don’t need your product on a daily basis. This means that when it is time for them to need you, you want to be top of mind. This is where educational marketing really steps in. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field and continuing to educate your fans and followers without selling them will mean that once it’s time for them to need your product, they’ll think of you first.

Some of the most valuable ways to educate consumers is through infographics, eBooks, free resources and content marketing.

You can use any additional data that you collect from your fans to target your educational materials.

#7: Start a New Project

Crowdsourcing is another top way we see businesses using ShortStack.com. That’s because social media provides you with access to a larger audience than anywhere else in the world, so why not take advantage of that?

If you’ve been wanting to add some new products, a social marketing campaign can be the perfect place to start. Ask your fans what they’d like to see you start next, or if you’ve narrowed down a few ideas, have them vote on their favorite.

Don’t have plans or hopes of adding a new project? That’s okay, you should still be closely listening to your fans when you run promotions.  Their answers could spark an idea for a new product.

A while back we launched our campaign builder and while we were still in the feedback stage, we ran a promotion for some free plans and we asked fans to provide us some feedback about the campaign builder. It helped us shape the campaign builder into what it is today and even add some new features we learned our customers would love to see.

#8: Run Advertising

Data-driven advertising is perhaps the most personal and successful form of advertising available to marketers. Your customers expect a tailored message delivered to them that peaks their interest and doesn’t waste their time.

As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of pressure on marketers to deliver a seamless and relevant experience to their customers.

Fortunately, social networks and online advertising outlets have made it convenient to target advertising as long as businesses are collecting the right data.

Our favorite way to target people is using Facebook ads. Facebook ads are cost effective and we believe the targeting options are the most accurate of any advertising option.  Using a marketing campaign and Facebook ads you can target via email address, interests, hobbies, job function, actions taken, website retargeting, and pretty much anything else you can think of.  So the next time you build your marketing campaign, consider which data you can collect to help you run some valuable ads.

#9: Analyze and Learn

Perhaps one of the most valuable ways to use your data is for analyzing and learning purposes. Look at your lead data through an analytical lens. These are the direct results of your Campaign. The amount and the quality of the responses is a good indicator of success. This information can also help drive the decisions and goals for your next Campaign. Didn’t get the responses you wanted? Try changing the language on your form, or asking questions in a different way (such as using checkboxes instead of a dropdown menu).

]]>