Author Archive

Jennifer Groese

As VP of Marketing, Jennifer works alongside our agency clients to support and grow their new business efforts.

5 Tips to Avoid Your Sales Emails Ending Up in Spam Folders

Every agency sends emails in an effort to enhance client acquisition and grow their business. In reality, although the concept of sending emails to attract and retain clients seems promising, it is almost inevitable that your email may end up in the spam folder.

Why is this a growing problem?

Agencies may follow the rules on sending emails, but society has taken marketing efforts to an entirely different level. There are tons of emails sent every day, putting them all into the same category. In addition, ISP providers are continuously finding new ways to keep legitimate emails from reaching their destination because of simple mistakes agencies may make. There are ways to avoid going into the spam folder, but doing the due diligence is key.

To help combat this growing problem, we’ve organized 5 tips to help you avoid the spam folder, and increase overall deliverability:

  1. Watch your jargon

Knowing what to say and when to say it plays an important role in how the email is viewed once it hits the sender’s box. If there are links in the email, make sure they are from reputable sites. Keep the image-to-text ratio reasonable, and make sure you use a reputable host for any images you may have in the email. Do not use risky words such as free, bonus, buy, purchase, order, prize, or use more than one exclamation point. This will keep the flags down, especially in subject lines.

  1. Use Reputable URL Links

Spam filters check for the URLs you are linking to so ensuring the domain name has a good reputation is important. Avoid names that have multiple folders and 1-2 characters in their file name. For example, a domain name with will often be picked up as spam and seen as a negative URL. In addition, keeping the complete URL in the file name, and not shortened links, will improve email delivery.

  1. Certification

If you are a legitimate agency, getting certified will help you gain credibility. Also, using platforms like Return Path will guarantee your inbox is known from the major ISPs, which will help you avoid being flagged as spam.

  1. Be honest

Avoid emails that come from different mailboxes. You want to be consistent to help build the credibility of your agency, and stay recognizable. When customers are familiar with your email addresses, they will take you out of the spam folder and automatically direct you to their inbox.

  1. Provide relevant content to the right audience

The best way to see engagement from your email marketing, and not get pinged as spam, is to provide timely and relevant content to the right audience. First thing – make sure you’re messaging is going to the appropriate decision-makers. Successful agencies are now leveraging list building tools to help supplement their organic opt-in list. Purchasing targeted prospect lists through reputable sources (like Winmo) can immediately increase not only traffic to your site, but also disseminate your expertise to a larger group of potential buyers. It also confirms the content you’re creating is being sent to the industries and titles that you’re best fit to win business from.

Not surprising – the next step is create custom content that uniquely speaks to each of these targeted audiences. Do your research to understand the personas of each vertical and then develop compelling content around each of their pain points.

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The Most Important Metrics Missing from Your Email Marketing Strategy

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Establishing and executing an effective email marketing campaign is about more than consistently being in touch with contacts from your mailing lists. Without routinely gauging the results of your campaigns, you’ll end up spinning your tires and wasting copious amounts of time, energy and money. In other words, consistent analytics are crucial to the long-term success of any email marketing strategy.

Even if you already check analytics on a consistent basis, you could very well be focusing on the wrong metrics–or omitting ones that could propel your campaign from being just so-so to simply spectacular. With these points in mind, familiarize yourself with some of the most important metrics that might be missing from your email marketing strategy. If any of them sound familiar, take steps to remedy the situation and to ensure that your campaigns deliver the best ROI possible.

Lifecycle Metrics

All too often, email marketing campaigns start out with a bang and then slowly but inevitably fizzle out until virtually no one on the list is paying attention anymore. Just because a campaign produces exciting results in the early stages doesn’t mean it will continue to do so for extended periods of time. For this to happen, careful attention must be paid to metrics that reflect user engagement. This means consistently and regularly checking metrics for things like opens, clicks and conversions on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

By considering user engagement across various periods of time, you will get a better sense for how well your campaigns are designed to deliver results over the long haul. This also gives you an opportunity to see when and where users appear to lose interest, so you can take steps to remedy the situation.

While you’re at it, track metrics for first-, second- and third-time buyers as a percentage of total purchases versus established benchmarks. This will demonstrate whether people are coming back for more or abandoning your emails and brand after certain periods of time.

Quality Metrics

Your email marketing strategy will go nowhere without a high-quality mailing list. Therefore, you must routinely analyze metrics relating to your list if you want consistent, effective results. Most notably, are the addresses on your list even active? How often are they checked?

If they’re not used very often, they’re essentially useless to you. On a regular basis, check the overall quality of your list. As new addresses are added, assess their quality by considering their source. Make a point of checking the percentage of addresses that serve as “primary” addresses too as well as the percentage of addresses that are strong buyers of your particular product or service.

Mailbox Type

Finally, perform a regular analysis of how email addresses that are linked to different mailbox types or domains appear to fare in your marketing efforts. This can help you understand your target demographic better and give you a strong idea of which direction to go in moving forward. Even if most of your addresses aren’t very high in quality, it could be that certain mailbox types or domains perform well.

If you’re not already strict about assessing the quality of your email marketing strategy, it’s time to get on board. Prioritize the aforementioned metrics to make your analyses all the more effective.

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5 Trends Every Marketing Agency Needs to Pay Attention to in 2016

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Is your agency ready for what’s ahead in 2016? The marketing world continues to evolve at a rapid pace. In 2016, it’s truer than ever. Agencies that fail to adapt to the “new normal” run the risk of being left in the dust by their competitors. While many of these changes involve technology, many others involve cultural and social shifts within our society. Familiarize yourself with the five most notable trends to watch out for in 2016 to remain as competitive as possible.

1. The Digital Transformation is Upon Us 

For a long time, agencies have kept digital technology separate from other aspects of marketing. That’s changing rapidly. In 2016, things won’t be so siloed. Creatives and others within agencies will increasingly work in a collaborative fashion. The digital revolution is done, and the post-digital world requires agencies to seamlessly incorporate digital technology into all aspects of their work.

2. Personalized Conversations 

Retailers have been tracking consumers online for some time, but now the technology exists to actually do something useful with the information. More importantly, the information is no longer only useful in the online world. Indeed, retailers will increasingly have the ability to connect directly with consumers wherever they are, whether it’s online or off. Access to free Wi-Fi and mobile is largely responsible for this particular shift. Agencies should encourage retailers to embrace omnichannel marketing to create a seamless experience.

3. Generation Y 

By 2020, more than 50% of the workforce will be made up of workers who belong to generation Y. Born between 1981 and 1999, they are known for their desire to control their own destinies. They don’t crave the stability of long-term job commitments but are driven by their passion for what they do. Entrepreneurs and freelancers, they thrive on creativity and will rapidly change the face of marketing in the years to come.

4. Advertising and Media Merge Again 

Thanks to developments like big data and the rise of social media, marketing and media are getting cozy again. Successful marketing agencies understand this and will embrace it. Already, many brands are hiring younger, hipper agencies that understand how to effectively market to online users, as it’s a whole different ballgame than it is with other forms of media.

5. Diversity 

More than ever, gender equality and diversity in general are top concerns for both retailers and marketing agencies. Retailers understand that inclusivity is key, and agencies are taking note. The best and most successful agencies will make a concerted effort to hire more young women and to elevate women and minorities to higher positions. They will also strive to help employees achieve an optimal work-life balance, so you can expect a lot more telecommuting to happen in the months and years to come.

With any luck, you’re already at least somewhat aware of the trends to watch in 2016. Whether you are or not, make a point to embrace them however you can. In doing so, you will be well ahead of the competition.

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(WEBINAR) How the Most Successful Agencies Market Themselves

With 71% of agency new business professionals saying it’s harder to break through to prospects, and traditional channels aren’t working like they used to, it’s more important than ever to align marketing with your sales outreach. A recent Webinar we hosted entitled, “How the Most Successful Agencies Market Themselves,” discussed what a highly successful ecosystem looks like and the tools needed to support it.

Agencies who nail this start generating sales-ready leads on a more consistent basis, and most importantly – work with the clients they actually want to do business with.

To watch the full recording, view below: 


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The 5 Biggest Mistakes Agencies Make When Pitching New Clients [And How to Avoid Them]

Your success or failure in closing a deal with a new client hinges on whether your sales pitch is a homerun or a flop. There are a number of common mistakes that agency folks just like you make everyday and should be avoided at all costs when pitching new business deals.

1. Beginning with an Apology

“I’m sorry I’m late.”
“Apologies that this presentation is a bit lengthy,”
“I’m sorry I didn’t have time to update some of the slides.”  

Opening with an apology of any kind sets a negative tone for the rest of your presentation before you’ve even finished the opening slide.  Not only that, you have also undermined your expertise and planted seeds of doubt with your audience.

2. Avoiding Eye Contact

Not making eye contact with your audience or reading directly off of your presentation will not only bore the audience, but also make you look unprepared. The audience wants to see that you have the confidence and knowledge to speak directly to their concerns and needs without constant reassurance from the slides in your sales deck.  If you avoid making eye contact with your audience — intentionally or unintentionally —  they may think you are being standoffish or that you don’t have the confidence in yourself or your product to effectively close the deal.

3. Dancing Around Tough Questions

If you can’t provide honest and accurate answers about your product, you probably don’t have sufficient information to be making the pitch on your own. Furthermore, how can you expect anyone else to trust you enough to buy what you’re selling if you don’t seem to believe in it? Believing in your product or service is integral to a successful pitch and new client acquisition.

4. Lack of Transparency on Cost & Pricing

This is one of those “tough questions” referenced above. Potential clients will grow suspicious if you dance around the question of cost or pricing. Although it is important to lead with the value of your solution, especially when it comes to that client’s specific needs, you should always be straightforward on the price tag.

Be honest and up front about how much your services are, and back it up with all of the reasons why you and your agency can offer the best solution for their company. Doing so will show them that you aren’t hiding anything when it comes to their investment.

5. Making Excuses

Your clients or potential clients aren’t concerned with why you look disheveled or why you can’t properly organize your thoughts. They also aren’t sitting in your presentation eager to hear all about you, they are there to hear what you can do for them.  Keep to the matter at hand, make your case and confidently answer any questions that your clients have for you.

Key Takeaways

The next time you pitch a prospective client, keep these tips in mind.  Also, don’t be afraid to get advice from other sales professionals who have built a successful new business machine. Do these things and you will be in a much better position to increase new business and drive revenue growth for your agency!

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