Inbound Marketing: what is this and how to apply on your business?

Also called content marketing, Inbound Marketing has evolved from a mere concept to becoming one of the top marketing strategies for online business development.
Inbound Marketing is about outlining an organic way for people to take an interest in what your business has to offer, and look for your company yourself.

Thus, “decoys” are used : posts in your blog, ebooks, podcasts, social networks and more.

Using this methodology does not exclude the use of traditional marketing methods – or Outbound Marketing , which consists in putting your message “out” , seeking to get people’s attention (push strategy).

This involves actions such as buying ads, printed promotional materials, radio or TV advertisements, and other types of advertising .

So the big difference is that Inbound attracts the contacts instead of interrupting the communication process. Its main purpose is to have initial contact with the people at the beginning of the sales funnel and to follow up with them in each of the stages of the process, until the purchase and the consequent loyalty.
One great reason for you to invest in this methodology is that all your actions can be measured.

You have control of views, conversions, and purchases in each of your campaigns, optimizing your actions.

In summary , Inbound Marketing is structured in the following items:

  • Content;
  • Segmentation;
  • Automations;
  • Results analysis.

To help you achieve the following results:

  • Increase business visibility;
  • Attract contacts with potential purchase;
  • Optimize efforts in the sales process;
  • Improve the relationship with the public.

How did the Inbound Marketing come about?

The concept was created in 2005 by Brian Halligan , co-founder and CEO of HubSpot. However, it became popular in 2009 after the launch of the book “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs” written by Halligan himself, Dharmesh Shah (also HubSpot founder) and David Meerman Scott.

Understand better how it works
The methodology of Inbound marketing originally has 4 steps: attraction, conversion, closure and satisfaction – where someone who is totally unknown is interested in your product or service and can become a big fan or supporter who will help attract even more interested people in the service or product that your company offers.

See the following image:

Functioning of inbound methodology

Case example
Our example will be a company that produces or imports plates for solar power generation. This is a new branch in Brazil and with a lot of growth and potential, a market of great demand. How inbound marketing can make a difference in this situation?

1st Stage – Attraction:
In this step you should make the definition and study of the type of audience that has the potential to become a customer . These individuals are also called buyer personas, or the “ideal clients.”

The focus is to bring close enthusiasts and interested people . So keep your pages on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, linking to the material your company offers, earning followers who interact with your posts.

Also prepare your site by using search optimization technologies for content such as microdata and structured data that refine the way your site content appears in search engines such as Google and Bing and streamline the use of keywords, key that bring visitors.

Learn how to optimize for free :
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/3069489?hl=en

2nd Phase – Conversion:
This phase is the beginning of so-called “lead nutrition “, which has the function of educating , and sometimes confused with attraction .

Here, you should focus on creating content and materials, talking about the advantages of technology that your company uses, but indirectly, using successful cases. In the proposed example, you can use details of how it works to have the technology approved , advantages, news of innovation in the area, etc.

You should create hotsites, blogs and set landing pages talking about technology, putting your brand as a supporter.

You can do more: create training and empowerment events – which can be free or not – teaching how to install and assemble solar panels for example, to attract not only customers but also other stakeholders who can become business partners.

Here it is very interesting to use social monitoring tools, such as Livebuzz, to identify the lovers and haters and treat them appropriately to lead to the next step of the inbound , which is the closing. After all, as influencers, they can increase or decrease conversion.

Also remember to always have a communication entry, such as a newsletter or leads form , so that you can later build a qualified contact base and can do email marketing actions, whose ROI is well above that of social media.

3rd Phase – Closing:
This is a crucial phase of Inbound Marketing.

Here you must be careful to plan the final part of nutrition, using marketing automation mechanisms, such as conversion-oriented email series , putting your product or service as a solution and, of course, the unique advantages of it.

In the example used, one can talk about the economy in the account of light, the fact of being a clean energy, among others.

Use techniques such as lead scoring , which assigns lead qualification levels , taking into account their engagement in the campaigns. In other words, it is the lead scoring that will allow you to know the “temperature” of a contact about your intention to acquire your product or service and at the same time to know how other prospects evolve. An inbound tool that links email marketing, social media posts, marketing automation and lead scoring, for example, is MKT2Easy.

In closing, it is also interesting to integrate with CRMs such as Pipedrive or Highrise , so that you have a good control of the new leads that have entered your sales funnel.

Stage 4 – Customer Satisfaction:
This phase is often overlooked and can be your great asset to increase revenue by improving retention rates. Once someone is your customer, you can not just forget about it. You must continue to post and share content, to help you better use your product or service, and to promote your brand’s reputation.

Use well-targeted call-to-actions , spreading improvements, social media interactions, and making content rules with email marketing automation.

By enchanting your customers , you create greater sales opportunities, and the customers themselves will share their positive experiences!

Also monitor what you talk about your brand in social media and seek partnerships with evangelizers.

Sources:
http://leadg2.thecenterforsalesstrategy.com/what-is-inbound-marketing
https://www.poweredbysearch.com/blog/understanding-the-inbound-marketing-methodology/
http://www.inboundcycle.com/inbound-marketing-which
http://increnta.com/en/blog/que-es-el-inbound-marketing/

By Francis Fussiger and Giulia Vargas – Digital Marketing Analysts

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Why did my email arrive as spam?

But what should be observed?

The fact is that your email may rather have features that frame it as junk mail.

Here’s how to identify these issues below.

This is a very frequent question, biased approaching, overused keywords, and excessive image in relation to texts are the most common factors.

There are some problems that occur every time individual reports that you are sending spam. The main, and most worrying, is that the relationship of that person with their business is impaired.

 

The consequences of acting as a spammer

Your image, your brand, and your reputation weaken in the eyes of that recipient.
And never underestimate how much people can harm your company. The potential and obvious consequences in terms of customer loyalty and sales are devastating. The internet is great, and anyone who is disgruntled will spread to all four corners of social media and forums you spam! In addition, of course, informal word-of-mouth, which has a huge destructive power and is difficult to track.

It does not matter if you think you deserve the title of spammer or not. It does not matter that some recipients feel that their emails are very good. The more you act as a spammer, the more people will put you as a spammer and the higher the risk of your reputation going through the air.
When you reach a certain level of complaints, you can (and will) stop at one or more blacklists.

These lists are used to label incoming mail from these senders as spam and to prevent delivery. And if the situation gets worse, even your service provider or host will terminate your email account.
Wrong attitudes will silently undermine your success in email delivery and your relationship with customers. As long as you keep sending the same types of email, unaware of the long-term damage that you are creating for your business.

 

So what do you do to avoid all this? Here’s what we suggest:

Step 1: What are the characteristics of an email marketing?

Basically, there are 5 key points that all honest email marketing fulfills:

– Did the recipients request the email? (are they Opt-in?)
– Does the email arrive in a timely manner? (a Black Friday promotion, should arrive on Black Friday, or the day before)
– Is email relevant to the recipient’s needs?
– Does email enable the recipient to quickly understand the content?
– Can the recipient stop receiving the emails when he/she wants?

If this checklist is fully understood and applied seriously in its approach, then we can move on to the technical stage of measures that prevent the classification of spam.

Step 2: General care of the preparation of the email.

Have a subject line that reflects the content of the piece.
– Send emails using a recognizable and reliable sender (see the configuration of DKIM and SPF).
– Use more text than images.
– Images with optimization of size (lossless compression).
– Inline and responsive HTML, which adapts to email device or client.
– Maximum HTML size (80kb up to 100Kb).
– Avoid these words on the subject: Earn money, sending emails, Work at home, Publicize your, 24 hours, Openings, List of emails, List of contacts, Telemarketing, Must Do, Promotion, Free Shipping, Limited Time, Extra Income, Money, Prices, Values, Buy, Course, Online Course, Weight Loss, Offer, Model Agency, Credit, Do not waste time.
– Links on the email should open authentic urls, and with good response time (open in less than 1 second)

Step 3: technical configurations, simulations, and tests

Domain and sender settings are vital, but there is one thing you should not forget. Take tests! This is what allows you to know the impact of your actions, and avoid serious problems.
There are several ways to testing:
You can have an audience in your company aimed at this and do the technical checks on antispam systems such as spamassassin. Some email marketing services offer these facilities while writing the email.

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How to avoid blocking images in email?

Did you know that more than 40% of email campaigns arrive in the recipient’s box with images blocked by default?

Why do images in email arrive blocked?
Find all this in this special post on the topic.

Causes of the problem

The main reason why images in emails are blocked is that of security settings because the malicious content is often sent from a URL. Generally, spammers forward images so that from the opening, they can identify if the forwarding e-mail address exists and also, they get more information such as IP address, location, company name, etc., often misused and harmful to the recipient.

Below is an image that shows what usually happens:

Who makes this block?

Image blocking is controlled by the recipient’s email manager and will depend on which version as it will be displayed to your client. Many companies have additional security features like firewall and antivirus to protect them from these potential attacks. This means that many ISPs block the download of images by security policies, and the email user is the only one who can unlock.

Your Marketing and Design team spends hours working on the images for your email campaign, but how many contacts will actually be able to open the content?

What to do?

1) Be part of your recipient’s contact list

Activate the contact record from the double opt-in, prompting your contacts to add your sender to their contact list; For those already in your base, ask them to add your sender too.

2) Images using the alt tag with CSS

All email providers display alternate text information (ALT text), using appropriate alternate text across all images. Make your email readable even if displayed without images;

<img style=”font-size: 18px; color: white; font-family: Tahoma,Verdana,Arial;” src=”yourimage.jpg” alt=”This is an image” />

3) Use “Bulletproof”

It’s a button made entirely in plain HTML, and inline styles define characteristics like color, texture, and shading.
Its main characteristic is to be visible in most email services, being very interesting to compose call to actions.

When you need call-to-action… Bulletproof buttons is a solution!

<a style=”background-color: #2975c7; border-radius: 4px; color: #ffffff; display: inline-block; font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 40px; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; width: 200px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: none;” href=”http://”>Button Example</a>

4) Maintain the balance between image and text

Many prefer to use image-based emails to maintain the brand and deliver a beautiful design, but this is not recommended. Image-based e-mails do not take into account cell phone responsiveness, accessibility for the visually impaired, and most spam filters consider the low relationship between text and images as a factor that punctuates an eventual blockage.

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The importance of SPF, CNAME and DKIM to improve deliverability

Email is one of the primary corporate and personal media communication on the internet. Currently, those who work professionally with email, especially email marketing, need to have specific security settings that guarantee the credibility and responsibility to have better results with email deliverability.

 

Stay tuned for details

Nowadays, almost everything has become SPAM in the eyes of those who use the internet. Elaborating an email marketing that is not considered as such, is a challenging task, and that requires some particular technical care.

 

Settings

Email providers have created mechanisms to filter out useless (and sometimes dangerous) content and prevent them from reaching the inbox of email boxes. However, there are some techniques, which serve to prove that you are actually sending the email without bad intentions.

 

We will talk about 3 most important terms, which you should not only know but also keep appropriately configured:

Sender Policy Framework – SPF

SPF is a technology that aims to combat unauthorized sending of messages on behalf of a specific domain, certifying through a text include which IPs are authorized to send on behalf of your domain. It is from this configuration that the provider of the recipient, will be sure that this campaign is yours.

DKIM – Domain Keys Identified Mail

DKIM consists of signing the messages of your submissions with a public key, to guarantee the authenticity of your sender. Unlike SPF, which checks the envelope (who is sending), DKIM checks the message header and certifies to the recipient that the content has not changed until it reaches its box.

Canonical Name – CNAME

The CNAME setup is responsible for customizing links and associating your domain with URLs of unsubscribe links, external view, and images used in your campaign.

Know some statistics:

See the importance of SPF and DKIM in delivering your emails, ensure better performance in your email marketing campaigns by contacting our experts to correctly configure your SPF, CNAME and DKIM in MKT2Easy

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DMARC – Learn why it’s so important to configure

What is DMARC?

DMARC is an acronym for “Authentication, Reporting and Compliance Domain-Based Message,” is a standardization proposal to guarantee the authenticity of an e-mail, and has been very well accepted and widely adopted, including by significant players such as Google and Microsoft.

In October 2015, Google committed to adopt and implement stricter DMARC policies, making it unfeasible for e-mail marketing tools to use e-mail from the domain @gmail.com as the sender.

DMARC is based on SPF and DKIM, which are two widely distributed protection and security mechanisms and adds a unique reporting function that allows monitoring e-mail behavior.

With the correct DMARC setup, it is much simpler and more efficient to determine if a message is legitimately sent from a purported sender; but not just this: DMARC allows you to define what to do if the message is not from the sender.

Before DMARC, senders remained mostly unaware of the problems because there was no practical way to obtain return information.
Whoever deployed the SPF and DKIM, it took time to spot the problems.

DMARC addresses these issues by helping email senders, and recipients work together for better-secure email, protecting users and brands from painfully high out-of-pocket abuse.

How does it work in practice?
Those who send and receive email and have the DMARC set up share all the technical information about the email they send to each other.

This shared information helps senders using DMARC to improve their authentication infrastructure so that all their email can be authenticated and verified.

It also gives the legitimate owner of an Internet domain a way to request that illegitimate messages – counterfeit spam, phishing – be placed directly into the spam folder immediately.

The DMARC policy allows a sender to indicate that messages are protected by SPF and DKIM and tells the recipient what to do if none of these authentications methods work – to trash or reject the message, for example.

What kind of protections does the DMARC configuration offer?
In short, DMARC is designed to protect against domain spoofing straightforwardly.

When a message is sent by an unauthorized sender (if it is sent by a malicious person, or even an unauthorized employee or who do not participate in the department of the company that owns or operates the domain), DMARC can be used to detect unauthorized activity and messages that are improperly sent to be blocked or discarded when they are received at the destination.

The configuration does not protect against other malicious activities. For example, DMARC does not address prime domain attacks (i.e., sending a domain that looks like the target being abused – for instance, exampl3.com vs. example.com), or changing the display name.

Actual application example:
A domain owner who has deployed email authentication can start using DMARC in “monitor mode” to collect data from participating recipients. Because the data show whether traffic is passing authentication checks, they can change their policy to request that the failure messages be quarantined, for example.

If a consistent amount of false e-mail is detected, they may adopt a policy of telling remitters to reject messages.

DMARC – configuration
Prerequisites for creating a DMARC record
For your submissions to be adequately authenticated with the DMARC record, your domain must have validated SPF and DKIM settings in all services where you will use your domain for submissions.

Please note that the email will receive the reports must also be configured. Ideally, it should be from the same domain as the sender.

Check out the SPF and DKIM material here

Creating the DMARC Entry
DMARC uses TXT entries from your DNS.
Hosting services generally provide a specific area, a configuration panel for registering this type of information, called DNS Manager.

And there you will do the DMARC setup.

Below is a table with the most commonly used configuration tags.
Do not panic.

You will understand what it is for:

Tag Meaning Sample
v Protocol version v=DMARC1
p Domain policies p=quarantine
pct Percentage of filtered messages pct=20
street Address that will receive daily report street=mailto:[email protected]
sp Policies for subdomains sp=reject
aspf Alignment mode for SPF aspf=r
DMARC Input Examples
In the examples below we will use only 3 FLAGS:

p: to define the policy
street: to define where to send the reports and
v: to inform the version of DMARC we are using

No action
In this example of TXT to DMARC input, if the provider receives a message from your domain and it arrives at the DMARC check, no action will be taken.

However, all these messages will appear in your daily report sent to the registered e-mail. In this example, “[email protected]

Quarantine
In this example of DMARC, if the provider receives a message from your domain and it arrives at the DMARC check, the message will be quarantined.

And after, they will be informed in their daily report in the registered email.

Rejection
In this last example, if the provider receives a message from your domain and it arrives at the DMARC check, the message will be 100% rejected. After, they will be informed in their daily report in the two registered emails: “[email protected]” and “[email protected]

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