Developing a Cohesive Brand with Mark de Grasse, the New President and General Manager of DigitalMarketer

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Episode 169: Developing a Cohesive Brand with Mark de Grasse, the New President and General Manager of DigitalMarketer


Episode 169: Developing a Cohesive Brand with Mark de Grasse, the New President and General Manager of DigitalMarketer


















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How to Prepare Your Email Marketing Strategy for iOS 15

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Nataly Birch • 14 minutes READ

Apple is famous for its immense love for privacy. They were the ones who introduced the Find My iPhone feature, encryption of email attachments, Activation Lock, Touch ID, six-digit passcodes, and Face ID.

And this summer, they have proved to everyone that they are the most privacy-sensitive big technology. iOS 15, the new version of their operating system, takes user privacy to the next level, dramatically separating the company from long-standing rivals Android and Windows.

These new protections include a privacy dashboard built upon the App Tracking Transparency feature, encryption of web traffic to forbid third parties to intercept, and mail privacy protection to block spammers from learning about your email or internet activity.

Mailpost

So, it is good news for Apple fans since iOS 15 will make phones less prone to fraud, identity theft, and espionage campaigns. But it is bad news for digital entrepreneurs who rely heavily on email marketing to push their business forward and generate much-needed revenue since the new version will erect substantial barriers.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the new mail privacy protection feature to find out what it means for entrepreneurs and how it can impact email campaigns and marketing strategies in the future.

What Does iOS 15 Mean for Email Marketing?

Rolling out this fall, new features that promise to be game-changers in the email marketing arena are “Mail Privacy Protection” and “Hide My E-mail.”

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While for regular users, they are meant to build an impenetrable fortress around personal data by, for example, allowing using unique random Apple-created email addresses or hiding IP address to prevent senders from identifying user’s location, for email marketers they are meant to become a massive roadblock on their path to success in the digital expanses. Let’s get down to the heart of the matter.

Hide My Email Feature

To limit the amount of data senders collect from users, Apple has suggested hiding email addresses from the platforms and vendors.

The process implies using fake yet unique email addresses automatically generated by Apple when you sign up for services, digital stores, or other websites and portals. All the new temporary e-mails are connected to the original one to forward all the correspondence to the user. Users, in their turn, have a password manager for email addresses where they can operate and delete instances.

The cornerstone of this approach is that if the email marketer sends spammy e-mails, users can quickly delete a temporary address, leaving their beloved original addresses safe and sound. This extra layer of protection is supposed to build a wall between the spammer and users and help to define companies that sell personal information.

So, what does it mean for law-abiding email marketers?

The main problem with this approach is that email marketers will no longer see the user’s actual email address. In addition, the system will continue to obscure the email address in the reply.

Although you can still send digital blasts and promos and even get feedback, assessing the marketing campaign’s efficiency is becoming difficult. This may also cause “hard” bounces because users may delete these temporary e-mails without any particular reason.

The increased amount of “hard” bounces leads to a low deliverability rate. The latter is essential for maintaining a good sender’s reputation and ensuring high open rates related to conversions and lead generation.

To make matters worse, Apple does not limit the number of generated email addresses for the users, so they literally can have thousands of them. This may drastically inflate your subscription list and cause some unwarranted charges.

As if hiding email addresses from email marketers were not bad enough, Apple has come up with an even better way to make the life of email marketers miserable. Mail privacy protection is another big thing that Apple will enforce in the new version of iOS. It will erect actual barriers in running email marketing campaigns the usual way.

Mail Privacy Protection Feature

The Mail Privacy Protection feature will prevent marketers, email service providers, and various analytical services from tracking recipient’s activity by putting a stop to using invisible tracking pixels in email messages. The solution is simple: the system downloads all the images in the background regardless of the email being opened or not.

So, what does it mean for email marketers?

This feature will hide such crucial information as:

  • Whether the user opened the e-mail
  • Whether the email was forwarded to another email address
  • How many times the user viewed the e-mail

This means that email marketers will be deprived of vital open rates and overall subscriber engagement. These two factors are a cornerstone for analyzing the effectiveness of subject lines, pre-headers, body copies, offers, and tone and language.

Hide IP Address

Mail Privacy Protection comes with the extra benefit of hiding IP addresses. Again, this prevents third parties from defining the user’s location or email habits and preferences. This sounds great for users since they can efficiently block all remote content and hide their online activity, but for email marketers, it is another insurmountable obstacle to overcome.

With this feature on, email marketers see generic information because the system routes the content through multiple proxy servers and assigns an IP address that corresponds to the user’s general region.

Without the specific information about the recipient, such as the location, device in use, and habits, it becomes much harder to segment subscription lists and create hyper-personalized email messages that lie at the core of successful email marketing campaigns.

How to Your Prepare Email Marketing Strategy for iOS 15

Cyber threats by Cisco

How iOS 15 Will Impact Email Marketing

So, iOS 15 will cause issues and problems with an impact beyond open rates, deliverability rates, and the inability to determine the email and IP addresses of the recipients. Let’s highlight all possible consequences that new privacy protection features may bring this fall for the email marketers:

  • It will obscure and ruin the data about open rates.
  • It will hide device information.
  • It will dramatically impact the deliverability rate.
  • It will block tracking IP data.
  • It will block tracking Safari users.
  • It may worsen the sender’s reputation eventually.
  • It will be impossible to analyze open rates by a domain name and identify ISPs who have intentionally blocked e-mail.
  • It will affect segmentation tactics because the location and vital data about user habits and online activities will be unavailable.
  • It will impact subscription list hygiene.
  • It may escalate the subscription list.
  • It may cause additional investments.
  • It will be more challenging to determine and, as a consequence, delete inactive subscribers.
  • It will become much harder to determine users who need to be re-engaged and retained.
  • It may impact A/B testing.

How iOS 15 Can Be Beneficial for Email Marketers

Although iOS 15 will require email marketers extra efforts to stay afloat, it still brings some benefits. If you manage to adapt to new realms, the relationships with your clients will become more transparent, reliable, and trusted. You will create and send e-mails that recipients want by explicitly telling you what their preferences are. So, no more secretly tracking online activities and guessing what users fancy.

With the information willingly provided by the customers, you will be able to create relevant and meaningful content that brings actual value instead of wasting your time, money, and resources on guessing and testing. This may also amplify user’s engagement and make retention campaigns more effective.

Last but not least, small businesses will get a fighting chance to face the competition thanks to privacy control that minimizes the information advantage.

How iOS 15 Can Be Beneficial for Email Marketers

Hyper-personalized email from Epic

How to Prepare Email Marketing to iOS 15: Tips from Leading Experts

Apple accounts for more than 50% of mobile devices in the USA and more than 25% worldwide. That means you cannot ignore changes that are going to take place this fall. Although the impact of new privacy protection features is difficult to predict, it will undoubtedly be felt.

On top of that, Europe’s GDPR, California’s CCPA, and Canada’s CASL regulations indicate that there is no other way than to put the user in the driver’s seat of their email boxes activity, online activity, privacy control, and data they share. Therefore, you need to be ready for that.

So, what can you do? Leading experts in email marketing suggest these steps:

Step 1 – Get Ready

Test open rates for subject lines, pre-headers, tone, language, preferable day of the week, and time of a day to analyze before and after benchmarks. It will help if you have found the winning versions of these metrics in advance.

Measure open rate and deliverability by segments to get the bigger picture of your target audience.

Test the message body to determine what tone, atmosphere, offer, and language get the best response from your subscribers.

Step 2 – Gather First-Hand Data

Since you will rely less on available metrics and behavior patterns, it is crucial to collect first-hand data as much as possible.

While subscription forms are not advisable to make lengthy, you can still get some more personal information of your customers from the sign-up process, onboarding and accounts.

You may benefit from the Welcome emails, Onboard emails, and Customer appreciation emails. Also, you can ask for some personal information in exchange for discounts, gift cards, or bonuses in reward programs.

Finally, you can track customer’s behavior on your website to better understand your target audience’s needs and expectations.

Step 3 – Prepare Your Website

The time has come to give users complete control. Implement preference centers. If you have one, consider improving them to get as much information as possible.

Encourage customers to share information that may help you create relevant email messages. You may benefit from reward programs and customer appreciation campaigns.

Make it easy for your customers to share sensitive information, tell you what content they would like to receive, how often, and exactly when. Also, allow them to unsubscribe quickly from your list or roll back on their preferences on email frequency.

Use a double opt-in process to gather some extra information from your customers in an unobtrusive way. People are accustomed to going through two-stage registration. If prospects are interested in your brand, they will fill out extra fields, and you will get valuable subscribers along with some crucial information for your marketing campaigns, leaving everyone happy.

Step 4 – Work with Subscription Lists

First, segment your subscription list. Remember, iOS 15 will not impact all users. Therefore, you can still track the vital metrics of the other part of the list and run campaigns the usual way.

Second, segment a list by assigning a risk level to each subgroup.

Third, clean your subscription list. This will give you a solid foundation to move forward. When segmenting audiences to delete invalid users, it is vital to safeguard those who use Apple devices. The deal is, ESP can remove them from your list since they are invisible to the system due to security measures. For this, refine your segmentation rules by excluding subscribers whose email client is Apple Mail.

Work with Subscription Lists

Step 5 – Improve Deliverability Rate

Open rates are crucial information; another factor that matters is deliverability. It is one of the main determinants of successful email marketing since it ensures your email has reached the recipient. Therefore, knowing that your message gets into a mailbox is vital regardless of the client’s privacy settings.

For this, follow best practices, such as sign your newsletters, encrypt the connection, enforce authentication protocols, keep your sender’s reputation clean, avoid spammy content, etc. In addition, keep an eye on hard bounces and make sure your ESP removes them promptly to avoid compromising the deliverability rate and sender’s reputation.

Finally, it is vital to check your correspondence through professional services like Unspam. They analyze your newsletters and give hints on how to avoid spam folders and secure your sender’s reputation.

Step 6 – Maximize Reconfirmation Emails

Send reconfirmation emails once in a while gives you real insights into customer engagement. They may also help you to keep your subscription list clean and healthy. Since the open rate may become obscure this fall, it is essential to focus on these campaigns and make the most out of them.

For instance, you can create hyper-personalized experiences, add some clever lead magnets, and even send not one but two and three reconfirmation e-mails for those who remain silent. Finally, consider combining reconfirmation e-mails with win-back emails to maximize the effect and achieve the desired result.

Maximize Reconfirmation Emails

The confirmation email from Lyft

Step 7 – Focus on Other Metrics

Since you will eventually become blind to the open rates of your iOS subscribers, it is crucial to capitalize on other metrics. After all, conversions are more important than engagement, and open data is not the only one to determine if your email campaign is successful. Remember, you still have click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, read rates, and even traffic and purchase activity to analyze.

Professional marketing automation platforms and email marketing software like Mailpost provide resilient ways to understand customers. Without much hassle, you can track and get insights from cross-channel metrics such as purchases, website visits, account activity, shoppers’ recency, order value, and overall customer engagement.

This will help to redefine your re-engagement and retention campaigns and help them to adapt to new realities.

Step 8 – Consider New Channels

SMS and push notifications are already the talk of the town. Many professional email marketers use them to create successful omnichannel experiences and automation workflows. They help to amplify email campaigns regardless of open rates. Therefore, it is time to bring them into the game.

Step 9 – Stay Tuned

Like it or not, changes are coming. The best way to adapt is to stay tuned. Follow updates from Apple. Monitor situation. Read professional blogs since experts will share their findings and solutions. Capitalize on professional marketing systems and analytical tools. Collaborate with other professionals like SEO specialists to get insights on traffic. This will help your brand stay afloat and move in the right direction.

How to Increase Open Rates with Professional Design

Open rates will suffer the most consequences of the iOS 15 release this autumn. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure you improve it in every possible way. The main email marketing techniques to do this are:

  • Clean up and segment subscription lists.
  • Optimize preview text and “From” Name.
  • Find the best time.
  • Perfect subject line.
  • Create hyper-personalized content.
  • Bring value.
  • Make everything mobile-friendly.
  • Make content accessible.
  • Create high-quality designs.

The latter is one of the most powerful in what it can do to this metric. The deal is, packaging sells. Like it or not, but customers eat with their eyes. Therefore, a good email design can do wonders with open and click-through rates. It is essential to maximize this email marketing technique. For instance, you can do these things:

  • Trigger emotions using insights from color theory.
  • Stress out the message with customized fonts.
  • Entice users with dynamic elements like hover effects or animated gifs.
  • Captivate with interactive features.
  • Build trust with consistency through various media channels.
  • Reinforce campaigns with eye-catching call-to-action.
  • Emphasize lead magnets through an inverted pyramid.
  • Immerse users into a memorable user experience through fantastic visuals.
  • Speak to your customer through personalized content.
  • Leave a long-lasting impression through well-executed brand identity elements.
  • Create attention-grabbing incentives to encourage click-through rates.
  • Amplify the effect with psychological tricks.
  • Reach your audience regardless of the device.

We have handpicked five fantastic newsletters created by professional teams worldwide to give you some insightful hints on how a good design should look like to boost open rates and generate much-needed conversions.

How to Increase Open Rates with Professional Design

Email Design by Adobe

You do not have to create something big and grandiose to compel subscribers to take action. Sometimes, less is more. A clever idea in combination with dynamic details can easily do the trick. Just look at this example.

This email hit loyal Adobe fans’ inboxes several years ago; however, it still produces a powerful impression and serves as a great source of inspiration, standing the test of time.

The team has introduced some of the best practices:

  • The subject line is clean and simple: it gets straight to the point.
  • The design is a continuation of the subject line.
  • The layout is mobile-friendly.
  • The content is accessible.
  • The design is minimal and compact, focusing overall attention on crucial aspects.
  • The email features an animated gif that drives the engagement and intensifies the theme
  • The principle of an inverted pyramid leads users from top to bottom, connecting the message with a call-to-action.
  • The email brings value to the audience delivering home the right message.
Email Design from Rugs

Email Design from Rugs

The marketing team of Rugs does not like to beat around the bush. They prefer getting down to business, making the top part of the email design talk louder than ever. Take a closer look at the hero area to learn some clever tricks:

  • A discount is the first thing that you notice here. The team uses a large bold font to make it stand out from the reading flow.
  • There are two incentives, “free shipping” and “free returns.” The first one is a time-proven way to influence the decision-making process. Placed in the middle of the section, it does its job perfectly.
  • There is a gentle reminder of a time-sensitive offer that unobtrusively yet effectively establishes a sense of urgency that pushes subscribers to take action swiftly.

The rest of the design drives engagement. It features a section dedicated to new arrivals, an area with items on sale, and two big buttons that lead to popular categories in the shop.

Feeling Lucky by Rugs

Feeling Lucky by Rugs

You do not need a big holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving to nurture your audience with fantastic deals. Almost any event can do the trick, and a newsletter sent by Rugs to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is proof of that.

The email relies on the hero area, which gets the most attention.

  • The overall design (green background, lovely typography, and an icon of shamrock) screams the holiday on all fronts. It establishes the proper mood, brings a smile to your face, and lures in.
  • The discount is massive, literally and figuratively.
  • “Free shipping” is a clever incentive.
  • Call-to-action is the perfect finishing touch. It concludes everything said above and gently invites visitors to proceed with the website.

The rest of the design supports the header and drives conversions through other means like featuring popular items or products that are on sale.

Overall, the email design brings value and offers a great user experience that proves to subscribers that newsletters from this brand are worth opening every time.

Email Design from Wix

Email Design from Wix

The email design from Wix hits all the essentials. It is fully responsive, mobile-friendly, accessible, and, most importantly, valuable.

The subject line ignites interest right away, and the newsletter continues to develop the theme effectively. The email is broken into three main sections that are centered around the main message.

The first is a header that produces a powerful impression. Again, you can see how well-picked typography makes the discount stand out. In addition, a timer evokes a sense of urgency to compel subscribers to act fast (a well-played psychological trick).

The second part includes a list of features to prove that the offered upgrade is the right move for users. It is informative and valuable. In the end, you can see a call-to-action supported by another reminder of acting fast.

The third part covers contacts, links to social media profiles, and an unsubscribe link. Even though it is purely formal, still it makes a significant contribution to the relationships. This data makes the brand transparent and trustworthy thereby giving a boost to open rates.

Email Design from Chipotle

Email Design from Chipotle

Little pigeons can carry great messages: the one-screen email design from Chipotle proves this.

The header is loud, impressive, and memorable. It drives engagement and compels subscribers to proceed with the newsletter further. The offer catches an eye, whereas a well-implemented call-to-action shows the way to move forward.

The team has also nailed the subject line. It is well-thought-out, straight-to-the-point, and speaks directly to the audience’s needs. It is what the doctor ordered to make subscribers read the e-mail, boost open rates, and increase conversions.

Conclusion

Apple has positioned itself as a security-focused and privacy-obsessed company that stands out from the competition.

The new release of its mobile operating system that rolls out this fall promises a giant leap forward in privacy protection. Undoubtedly, it will be warmly welcomed by the community, especially in the course of Facebook events and Google data leak scandals.

Unfortunately, it comes with a massive downside for email campaigns since such vital information as open rates, IP addresses, and email addresses become obscure.

To adapt, it is crucial to embrace these changes. Therefore, respect customer privacy, give subscribers a chance to tell what they want and how they want to communicate with your brand, improve your relationships, focus on bringing actual value to the clients, and keep up with the community and events.

Last but not least, remember that this new update will not impact all your subscribers: you still get open data from Google and Microsoft.

Both new features in iOS 15 come only as a suggestion. Plus, they are not very easy to use in tandem with the built-in password storage feature. So, chances are they will not become as popular as you think at least at once.

You still need to be ready to adapt to the change in reported metrics and enforce some measures as to not fail with email marketing campaigns and strategies next year.

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7 Ways to Use Gamification in Marketing Campaigns

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We all want a little more fun and games in our lives. So, why not add some gamification to your next interactive content campaign?

By 2025, the gamification market is expected to witness a massive 30.1% growth rate, with global sales revenue reaching around $32 billion

That’s because gamification adds more entertainment to the website experience and gets audiences engaged. The idea behind gamification is to bring game mechanics into the design of a website or piece of content. There are many different ways to do this. 

Some companies add hidden achievements and bonuses to their blogs that customers can collect by visiting every page and reading their content. Others allow readers to collect points for leaving comments or play games to win potential prizes. 

Used correctly, gamification is a fantastic way to connect with your audience and increase engagement levels. So, how can you use gamification in interactive content?

 

The Evolution of Gamification 

Elements of gamification have appeared in everything from marketing campaigns to web design and even eCommerce strategies. 

In 2014, an Apple App Store review of more than 100 health apps even found that gamification elements in applications led to greater participation and higher user ratings. In other words, customers are more likely to get involved with an activity that includes gamification components. 

While gamification can take on many different forms, the aim for most companies is to create an environment where customers can feel more invested in their interactions with the website. For example, if you win a point every time you comment on a blog post, and you can trade those points in for prizes, you have more of a desire to keep commenting. 

The promise of being able to “accomplish” things with pieces of interactive content and websites also appeals to the competitive part of our psychology that pushes us to keep doing things in exchange for the promise of a kind of reward. 

Many companies have generated a lot of enthusiasm for their brands through leaderboards, time events, and similar experiences. For example, just look at how popular McDonalds becomes each year when the monopoly game rolls out as part of the purchasing experience. 

People buy more items than they usually would during McDonald’s Monopoly just for the opportunity to win. This same boost in engagement benefits your content strategy too. 

 

6 Ways to Add Gamification to Your Content

There’s no one right way to gamify your website or your marketing content. The method you choose will depend heavily on your audience and the kind of experience they respond best to. 

The key to success is finding a way to grab your customer’s attention and hold onto it. Here are some of the tried and tested strategies to explore:

1. Create an Actual Game Experience 

When it comes to incorporating gamification into your website design and content, you don’t necessarily need to be clever. You can be extremely straightforward and just design an actual game. For instance, to help attract more people to the American Army, the US created a war simulator that potential applicants could play on Steam. 

The game aimed to introduce young people who might consider a career in the military to what that job might be like. If the kids liked what they saw on Steam, they could visit the military website and learn more. 

For companies who can’t afford to build an entire fully-featured game, something a little smaller can be just as engaging. For instance, rather than using a standard pop-up with a discount code to entice customers to buy the rental service, Gwynnie Bee created a scratch card. People could scratch the spaces using their smartphone or computer cursor and win money off. 

The great thing about the interactive content from Gwynnie Bee is that it encouraged potential visitors to connect with the business in a lucrative way. To use the scratch card, you first had to give your email address. This meant the company could build its email list while delighting consumers. 

When designing a game experience for your marketing campaign, remember:

  • Get the right support: Designing a great game is tough, particularly if you want something more complicated than a scratch card. Don’t take the risk of creating something that doesn’t work properly; hire a developer. 
  • Promote the experience: Make sure everyone knows about your new game. Share screenshots on social media and talk about it in your email campaigns. 
  • Focus on fun: Remember, games are supposed to be fun. Measure the reactions of your audience to ensure they’re having a good time. 

2. Design a Loyalty or Reward Program

Loyalty is one of the most valuable things your audience can give you. So why not reward them for it? Loyalty programs are fantastic tools for business growth and engagement. They give you a way to turn one-off clients into repeat customers and advocates for your brand. 

How you choose to reward your customers (and when) is up to you. Some companies might give customers points every time they share a post on social media or comment on a blog. This encourages more engagement with your brand. 

On the other hand, you might just let your customers earn rewards for every purchase they make. This is a strategy that Starbucks uses with its reward program.

As customers increase their spending with Starbucks, they get the reward of extra points that they can put towards future purchases. This keeps customers coming back for more and may even entice some clients to buy Starbucks when they otherwise wouldn’t. 

The oVertone company is another excellent example of a brand using gamified rewards with its marketing strategy. The loyalty program breaks down into tiers, where users can see how much they need to spend to ascend to the next level. New rewards and perks appear with each level. 

Remember, when building a loyalty program:

  • Make your customers feel special: Ensure that your audience feels good about being one of the lucky few in your loyalty program. Give discounts and offers they can’t get elsewhere.
  • Keep them informed: Make it easy for your customers to see what they need to do to get their next reward, so they keep coming back for more. 
  • Mix things up sometimes: To stop the experience from getting boring, roll out things like “double points” days and bonuses for your most active customers. 

3. Encourage Customer Interaction

The biggest benefit of gamification is that it encourages and increases customer interaction. You can give rewards to participants that comment on your blog posts, for instance, or share your posts on social. The customer benefits from the reward, while you get the advantage of a better business presence. 

Samsung drives interaction with gamification with a function on its website that allows customers to discuss issues and watch videos. The most active participants get a badge for their efforts. 

If your business structure requires a lot of engagement from your audience, then using gamification elements can encourage them to stick with you for longer rather than losing interest. For instance, language learning software Duolingo has a four-point gamification strategy for its users.

Duolingo knows that learning a new language takes a lot of time, so it asks users to set small specific goals instead. The smaller tasks bring users back regularly, and consistent users gain rewards. There’s even a progress bar to help you track your progress compared to other customers. 

Gamification gives your customers another reason to keep coming back and connecting with your brand. That makes a lot of sense for companies that rely on long-term relationships with customers, like Duolingo and other teaching brands, for instance. Remember:

  • Make it simple: People will only want to interact with your brand if it’s easy to do so. Make it clear what you want your customer to do and what they need to do next. 
  • Reward every action: Keep people coming back for more by rewarding them for their actions, even if it’s just with a gold star or digital sticker. 
  • Nudge inactive customers: If a client gets involved in your interactive content, then stops participating, send an email reminding them why they should come back. 

4. Run Contests and Offer Prizes

Probably one of the easiest ways to use gamification in your advertising campaigns is with a competition. Contests and competitions have been around since the dawn of business. They’re a useful way for companies to collect information from customers, particularly if you ask your clients to sign up to your site with an email address to get involved. 

Competitions are also a way to push your audience into doing positive things for your company. For instance, you could run a competition where consumers share a social media post and tag a friend to enter. Or you could have a competition that asks your clients to refer a friend to get involved. 

When KIND, a healthy snack company, wanted to connect with its customers and create a new product, it didn’t just do market research. Instead, the company created the “Raise the Bar” contest to let customers cast a vote for which flavor they wanted to see next.

When 123ContactForm wanted to engage its audience, it gave people the chance to win one of three platinum subscriptions for 6 months. 

Contests are naturally exciting and fun to take part in. They’re an opportunity to get your audience excited, and you don’t need to give anything huge away either. Just make sure that the prize you offer is something that your audience will be interested in. 

A few more pro tips include:

  • Generate hype first: Don’t just launch a contest out of nowhere; get people excited about the idea with announcement blogs, social media posts, and emails. 
  • Give people a lot of ways to get involved: If people can’t take part in the competition on social media, let them do something on your website instead. 
  • Follow up after the win: When someone does win something from your website, follow up with that winner and post pictures in the form of a blog/case study. This will generate more hype for your brand and get people excited about the next event. 

5. Get Your Audience Feeling Competitive

No matter how much they might deny it, most people are at least a little competitive. So when you’re implementing a gamification campaign into your content and marketing efforts, it pays to tap into that sense of competition. All you need to do is find a way to encourage your followers to compete. 

The best example of a company that did this particularly well is Nike. Nike and the Run Club app teamed up to motivate people to get involved with healthy activities. The app allowed users to customize and build their ideal training program based on their athletic level. 

At the same time, you could also win badges and trophies to share with your running community. The more you took part in challenges on the app, the more you could potentially win. 

The Fitbit application has a similar way of keeping customers engaged. When you download Fitbit, you can access information about your exercise strategies and potentially track your progress towards your goals. However, there are also measurable achievements to earn – like a badge when you first walk 500 miles. 

Users on Fitbit can also find their friends using the same app and compete with them in various challenges. 

To successfully add a competition to your gamification strategy, remember:

  • It needs to be social: People will be more inclined to get involved if they show off their achievements. So make sure that people can showcase their accomplishments. 
  • Make people want to win: There needs to be a reason to get to the top of the leaderboard. You might offer people discounts or exclusive prizes if they accomplish certain goals. 
  • Show progress: Prompt people to keep working on reaching their targets by showing them how close they are to success. 

6. Make Boring Content Seem More Interesting

Some content is naturally more engaging than others. If you want to showcase some important information or data, you might create a whitepaper or a report. Unfortunately, the result can be a relatively bland piece of content.

With elements of gamification, you can make the experience a lot more engaging and interesting. Sites like Daytum.com allow users to turn personal stats and information into charts that showcase information in engaging ways. You can allow your users to track their progress through the report and rack up points as they go. 

Adding subtle elements to otherwise clinical and less interesting information is a wonderful way to make the experience more exciting. The more enticed your customers are by your content, the more likely it is that you’ll sell them on your business. 

 

Gamify Your Marketing Strategy

Gamification isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that many companies and designers can begin to take advantage of these days. Thanks to more advanced browsers and smartphones, customers can more fully enjoy the interactive elements of websites and content campaigns. 

As your audience dives deeper into the digital world, they expect more unique experiences from you. Gamification can make any website or marketing experience more memorable. It’s time to take advantage. 

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What It Is and Why It's Important

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If your marketing team and the systems you have in place to attract leads are working properly, you’re likely seeing anywhere from 10s to 1,000s of new leads each week. If you’ve got a robust sales team, they may be able to contact every single lead within a few hours.

However, if you’re like most companies, your sales team has to prioritize in order to reach out to the “best” prospects quickly, while saving the “less likely” prospects for last. This doesn’t mean that they can’t be converted, there’s just a lower chance of securing those prospects as customers.

Download Now: Free Sales & Marketing Lead Goal Calculator

Time spent courting the wrong prospect is not only an exercise in futility, but it takes time away from your salespeople and prevents them from closing sales and making your company money. How then, do you make the job easier (and more lucrative) for your salespeople?

Predictive Lead Scoring can take the guesswork out of following up on leads. Let’s take a look at what it is and how it could help your business grow.

What is predictive lead scoring?

Before we define predictive lead scoring, it’s important to understand traditional lead scoring and its limitations.

Businesses have struggled with prioritizing lead follow-up for decades. In many cases, salespeople are left to their own devices, using their best judgment to decide who gets contacted first. Marketers and salespeople use data such as demographic info (age, marital status, industry, role), to rank potential customers as to how likely they are to buy. Those who rank high on this scale are contacted first, while others are contacted last, or if time doesn’t permit, not contacted at all.

The problem with this subjective process is that it’s … subjective. Salespeople are forced to rely on “gut feelings” and factor in their own historical experience to make this decision. Neither of these proves to be consistently accurate causing quality leads to slip through the cracks as they chase prospects unlikely to buy.

Predictive lead scoring is machine learning that takes this theory one step further by using predictive modeling algorithms to analyze data from past customers and current prospects to predict future outcomes. Put another way, predictive lead scoring has the ability to create an “ideal customer” profile based on past buying behavior, and then identify which current prospects best fit that profile. It removes the possibility for human error or bias and instead relies on hard data to make its predictions.

The Benefits of Predictive Lead Scoring

If your marketing and sales teams have been struggling with identifying top leads and are unable to follow up with everyone that enters your database, predictive lead scoring may be exactly what your company needs. With a multitude of benefits, it’s like hiring another department to assist in new customer acquisition.

The benefits of predictive lead scoring include:

1. Create Harmony Between Marketing and Sales

When there are so many leads coming in but not many sales being closed, these two departments may turn on one another. The marketing department doesn’t understand how they're providing a large number of leads that Sales can’t close. And the sales department believes that quantity is more important than quality, and they aren’t getting any good leads.

Incorporating predictive lead scoring will help these two departments work together and produce more.

2. Save Time

An automated lead scoring system means that your marketing and sales teams no longer have to waste time vetting potential customers. Their time can be better spent bringing in more leads and following up on the right ones.

3. Remove Human Error

No matter how good (and quick) your employees are at reviewing potential customers, there will always be an inherent bias. People can’t approach a situation without drawing on memories of the past. No matter how objective they attempt to be, this bias will creep into every decision they make. Using a computer algorithm to make these decisions removes the possibility of human error or judgment.

4. Lightning-Fast Results

While it takes a little bit of time to set up, once predictive lead scoring is up and running, you’ll receive results considerably faster than you would if a person were doing the work. You receive high-quality, data-driven leads before a human employee could even get their coffee.

5. See Continual Improvement

As you close and service more customers, you’ll collect more data. The more data you have, the better predictive lead scoring works and the more data points you’ll have to work with.

Predictive lead scoring is ready to work for you and make your marketing and sales teams more efficient.

How to Incorporate Predictive Lead Scoring in Your Business

Now that you understand predictive lead scoring and how it can revolutionize your business, how do you get started?

HubSpot offers Predictive Lead Scoring software that integrates with your Enterprise CRM, providing machine learning that reviews thousands of data points across your contact base to identify your best leads.

These data points are drawn from analytics (website and email behavior), firmographic information about the contact’s company and their relationship within HubSpot, and interactions that have been logged in the CRM.

To use this feature:

  1. Click the Settings icon in the main navigation bar of your HubSpot account.
  2. From the left sidebar menu, navigate to CRM > Properties.
  3. Search in the Contact Information property group for Likelihood to close and Contact priority.

Likelihood to close is a score that represents the probability of a contact closing as a customer within the next 90 days. It used standard contact properties and behavior to predict this. If the score or probability value is 22, that means there is a 22% chance of closing as a customer in the next 90 days.

Contact priority uses the Likelihood to close score to filter segments of your best and worst leads.

As you accumulate more data, the system will improve itself, providing even better predictions and guiding you towards the most important leads. Because the program requires data to do its job, you will not begin seeing values for Contact priority until you have reached 100 contacts.

If you want to see your organization grow and your team members flourish, predictive lead scoring is essential. Imagine what your business will look like in five, 10, or 15 years when the system you use to attract and acquire new customers is fully optimized.

Give your marketing and sales teams a leg up on the competition and try predictive lead scoring today.

How to Calculate Your Lead Goal

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Finding Unique PR Opportunities for Your Business with Jack Nunn, Founder of Roworx Fitness

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Learn how you can turn PR opportunities into organic traffic for your business.

What sets you and your business apart from your competition? What makes you different, surprising, maybe even controversial? And how can you leverage that into PR opportunities that ultimately lead to more brand awareness and traffic?

Jack Nunn, rowing champion and founder of Roworx Fitness, has gotten a lot of attention lately for making a bold claim: that you can get a total body workout just by rowing. Not only that, but you can train for a triathlon with a regimen that’s 80% rowing—and then complete 3 Ironmans in 28 days. Jack is doing something no one else is —and a lot of people find it unbelievable.

In today’s episode of the DigitalMarketer Podcast, he sits down with host Jenna Snavely to talk about leaning in to whatever it is that makes you stand out.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Tips for pitching your story or message to publications 
  • How to push past discouragement and view PR as a long game
  • How to turn familiar topics upside down with your own unique spin
  • Ways to leverage PR opportunities from unexpected places

Listen Now

OUR PARTNERS:

  • Keap, an easier way to manage every stage of the customer journey
  • HC Development, innovative marketing strategies and responsive campaigns
  • Ahrefs, an all-in-one SEO tool set that helps you rank higher and get more traffic
  • Wix, a website builder that gives you complete freedom of design and management

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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How to Create a Newsletter and Send Email Campaigns with Mailpost.io

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Sam Norton • 10 minutes READ

An email newsletter is a powerful tool that enables a website owner to share material and valuable information with their network of prospects, subscribers, and customers. Aside from engagement based on triggers and actions, it can automatically provide communication between your website and customers by delivering access to product promotions or engaging content.

If your website doesn’t utilize an email newsletter, you should consider starting one. With proper email marketing methods, email newsletters and campaigns can provide a stable return on investment (ROI) as well as other value-add benefits.

There are platforms available online that can help you add and manage your email newsletters on your website without doing it manually in a couple of clicks.

In today’s tutorial, I am going to show you how you can use Mailpost.io and Postcards to easily add a newsletter to your website, manage campaigns and subscribers as well as take control of your email template design in a few simple steps.

Set Up Mailpost.io Account

Mailpost simplifies the email marketing process by providing an easy-to-use platform to create and manage campaigns and subscribers highlighting marketing achievements and giving smart suggestions with a dashboard of insights.

Mailpost helps you collect email subscribers and manage campaigns with an embedded version of the newsletter form to your website.

Online Email Template Builder

With Postcards you can create and edit email templates online without any coding skills! Includes more than 100 components to help you create custom emails templates faster than ever before.

Try FreeOther Products

Let’s see this in action.

To get started, simply head on to Mailpost.io and register for an account by clicking on the “Signup” button on the upper right corner of the screen.

How to Create a Newsletter and Send Email Campaigns with Mailpost.io

From here, we’ll need to fill out some basic contact information to get access to Mailpost’s full set of features.

Setting Up Mailpost.io Account

Note: Mailpost doesn’t allow generic email addresses such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail email addresses. To proceed with the signup process, you need to use an email from your own domain (ex. info@example.com).

Once we fill out the entire form, we can wrap up the signup process and get access to the Mailpost.io dashboard as seen in the image below.

Account

To unlock the free features of Mailpost, we need to visit the billing page first. To do this, simply click on the arrow icon on the upper right corner of the screen right beside our user’s avatar and click on the “Billing” link.

Billing

Mailpost offers three plans: Free, Monthly, and Annually. If you wish to upgrade your free trial account to a paid plan, simply select the plan of your choice and click on the “Update Billing Plan” button. To learn more about the pricing plan head on to the pricing section here.

For this tutorial, we’re going to proceed with the free trial account. Let’s select the “Free” plan option and click on the “Update Billing Plan.

Update Billing Plan

At this point, we’re going to be redirected to the front page. To proceed, simply click on the “Get Started” button on the right column.

Get Started

Note: By default, a free account can only send 500 emails per month or up to 100 contacts. If you wish to learn more about the amount you need to pay for a specific number of emails and contacts per month simply drag on the pricing calculator on the left column.

Next, we need to fill up the form with our billing information along with our credit card information to proceed. Once done, check the “I agree to Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy” checkbox and click on the “Purchase Now” button.

Purchase Now

At this point, our free account is now fully verified.

Configuring DKIM Record Settings

Next, to fully verify our account’s email address, we need to configure the DKIM settings. DomainKeys Identified Mail or DKIM is a standard procedure to help prevent spoofing on outgoing messages sent from our domain as it adds an encrypted signature to the header of all outgoing messages.

In order to do this, click the DKIM link on the dashboard and it will redirect us to the Domain Verification and DKIM record settings.

Configuring DKIM Record Settings
DKIM

We need to login to our Cpanel account (or in your domain name registrarr) and search for “Zone Editor.” This will redirect us to the Zone Editor page. To proceed, simply click on the “Manage” button next to the domain we are working on.

Zone Editor
Zone Records

At this point, we will see all Zone Records under the domain we are trying to configure. From here, simply click on the “Add Record” and under “Type” select “TXT.” On the name value, copy the Domain Verification Record from the Mailpost’s Domain Verification and DKIM record settings page and paste it here. Click on the “Add Record” button to save.

Add Record

Next, we need a new record similar to the process we did for the Domain Verification Record but this time instead of “TXT” on the “Type,” we will select “CNAME.” We will do it three times twice since there are three DKIM records that we need to add. Copy the three DKIM records under the “Name” field and click on the “Add Record” to save each DKIM record.

CNAME

Afterward, we need to go back to the Domain Verification and DKIM record settings page and click on the “Update Status” button to update Mailpost settings.

Update Status

Once we see the “Success” message on the Domain Verification Record and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) status, that means that our email address and domain are fully verified.

Creating an Audience Group in Mailpost.io

Before we create a new campaign, we need to create a new audience where we will put the subscriber list later on.

Click on the Audience link and then the “New Audience” button. This will display a modal window where we can put the name of our audience. Since this is a subscribers list, let’s name it “Subscribers” and then click on the “Create Audience” button. Once created, we will see a success message notification confirming the creation of the “Subscribers” audience.

Creating an Audience Group in Mailpost.io
Subscribers

At this point, our “Subscribers” audience is listed on the audience list page.

Embedding Mailpost Newsletter Form to Your Website

Embedding Mailpost Newsletter Form to Your Website

Next, we need to embed our Mailpost newsletter to our website. To do this, click on the “Embed” link on the main menu. This will redirect us to the Embed Form settings page.

On this page, we need to select the audience group where we want our contact list to go once the user subscribes to the form. Additionally, we can exclude and include some fields on the form including the styles if we want to use them for our newsletter design.

Finally, we also have the option to either view the code of the form or copy it to the clipboard. For this example, I will attach the default form styles provided by Mailpost but only the email field, consent checkbox, and double opt-in will be checked or included on the form as seen in the image below. Keep in mind that we can also customize the default styles of the newsletter form.

Embed

From here, we need to copy and paste the form code on any part of our website where we would like to display the newsletter form as seen in the image below.

To test this, simply put a test email address on the email field and click on the “Subscribe” button. Once submitted we will receive an email confirmation from Mailpost validating our subscription. Clicking on the “Confirm Subscription” button will fully validate our subscription and will add our email address under the “Subscribers” audience list.

Confirm Subscription
Confirmation

Create an Email Template with Postcards

Postcards is an intuitive email builder for teams and individuals which amps up email marketing ideas. It’s a feature-rich drag and drop email editor with pre-built responsive and customizable blocks. With Postcards, it’s easy to create your own look and feel email design using a modular-based system with built-in, retina-ready content, structural email blocks, and elements. The best part of this application is that it can export your email design template to a list of popular email marketing providers such as HubSpot and Mailchimp but also offers a feature to download the raw HTML/CSS in just one click.

To get started, simply head on to Postcards and signup for a free account by clicking on the “Try For Free” button.

Creating an Email Template with Postcards

Next, we need to fill in the sign up form with our basic information which will also require us to verify our email after submission.

Registration

Once verified, we can now login to our account and we will be redirected to the Postcards editor.

Postcards editor

From the editor, we can start dragging and dropping free content blocks from the left panel to the canvas (which is the square box in the middle) to start designing our email template. If we want to customize the module styles such as the inner spacing, background image, button color and font, simply navigate to the right panel of the dashboard and modify the settings.

We won’t list all of the steps in detail on how we design the email newsletter here but after taking some time and modifying the email template, we will have a similar result like the image below.

Email Editor

To preview our email template either on the browser or via email before exporting it by clicking on the “Preview” button as seen in the image below.

Preview

Next, export the email template and download it as zip. To do this, simply click on the “Export” button on the upper right corner of the screen and click on “DOWNLOAD AS ZIP” on the dropdown link. This will download the source code in zip format on our browser.

Note: Hosting images online is only available for users with Agency Plan. See pricing and features for more details.

Preview

Once the email template was downloaded on our computer, head on to Mailpost.io for the next step.

Upload an Email Template on Mailpost.io

Now, we need to upload our downloaded email template to Mailpost. To do this, head on to Mailpost dashboard and click on the “Templates” link. Then, click on the “Upload Archive (.zip)” button and browse to the downloaded email template zip file on your computer. At this point it will process and upload the email template and once done we will be redirected to the templates list page with a success message.

Uploading Email Template on Mailpost.io
Templates

If we want to edit the code of our email template, simply click on the template box and Mailpost will open a code editor where we can see our editable source code or use the built-in visual editor provided by the platform as seen in the images below.

Creating a New Campaign in Mailpost.io

Create a New Campaign in Mailpost.io

After uploading our email template, let’s create a new campaign where we will send out our email template to all email lists under the “Subscribers” audience.

Click on the “Campaigns” link in the main menu and then click on the “Create Campaign” button on the right corner of the main menu.

Creating a New Campaign in Mailpost.io

This will redirect us to a new page where we need to provide the details about the new campaign such as the Email Subject, Sender Name, Audience, and Template as seen in the image below.

Once done we can either preview, save or start the campaign immediately by clicking on the “Preview“, “Save” and “Start campaign” button. At this point, we want to start running the campaign so click on the “Start campaign” button to get started automatically.

Start campaign

This will start sending email newsletters to all email lists that we have under the “Subscribers” audience as seen in the images below.

Start campaign
Gmail Preview

Additionally, Mailpost also offers a reporting feature wherein we can check the details about our campaigns such as how many emails were sent, delivered, opened, clicked, bounced, and unsubscribed.

Reports

To check on our campaign’s report, simply click on the “Reports” link on the main menu and it will redirect us to the reports page

Conclusion

Whether you’re a blogger, designer, small business or store owner, or even a marketer, using Mailpost and Postcards makes it easier for you to integrate an email newsletter into your website.

With Mailpost, you can easily manage all of your campaigns and audiences with detailed reports about your email marketing efforts. On the other hand, Postcards simplify the creation of responsive email newsletters right out of the box.

Taking advantage of email newsletters can give you incredible benefits when it comes to conversion if done properly. Take action today!

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3 Essential Design Trends, September 2021

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Do you ever get bored with design projects? Feel like you keep designing the same things on repeat?

This collection of trends – from fun angles to illustrations where you wouldn’t expect them to cool three-dimensional concepts – is sure to help you think a little more out of the box. It might be just the right inspiration to cure some of that design boredom.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

 

1. Angles for Attention

Working with angles is a fun technique because you can essentially point website visitors to what you want them to see on the screen.

Angles can be aggressive and have an obvious visual goal. They can also have an easier feel without so much direct intent. This trend can look a lot of different ways, making it a versatile option for designers.

Each of the three examples here takes a different approach to angles.

Bake Inc. uses various angles with imagery and whitespace to draw the eye past the visual elements to the brand name at the bottom of the screen. If you click through to the design, you’ll see that there isn’t just one angle-image design, but it’s a collection of changing images and angles that work beautifully in concert.

Instabase uses a collection of animated geometric shapes as the main visual element on the screen. Note the directional pull of the triangle in the bottom left of the group of shapes. It helps lead the user to the “Request a Demo” call to action on the other side of the screen.

Readymag’s Custom Cursor is one of those aggressive angles. The giant cursor is what the design is about, but because of the size and shape of the object, users are directed to the word “cursor” as well. That adds extra emphasis to what the design is about. With the combination and the oversized element and giant angle that are so in your face, you can’t help but get a quick understanding of what the design is about.

 

 

 

2. Unexpected Illustrations

This might be the most fun we’ve seen with a website design trend in a while – projects and companies are using illustrations in some of the most unexpected places.

The design surprise happens when an industry that you don’t expect uses this type of imagery. A simple illustration takes the design to another level, or illustrations mix with other elements to paint a whimsical overall scene. Those are the things you can find with each of these three examples.

Krivitzky is a website for a business law firm. This is not at all the type of website where you’d expect illustrations (including a dragon). While the design is fun to interact with, it’s hard to say if it works. If you needed representation, would this appeal to you? In terms of legal websites, this is a total disruptor and forces your attention. That could be a good thing.

Studio Mesmer is one of those simply understated designs that’s almost perfect. The stark black background makes the simple illustration that much more striking. The eye also has a nice hover animation effect for an added surprise.

Kenn & Kitt mixes an illustration with real imagery to paint a more whimsical scene. What’s nice about the illustrated elements of the website design is that it helps connect the website to the product packaging, which uses illustrations while feeling “real” with the photo of a dog. It’s a bright and sunny combination of photos and illustrations that feels whimsical but has the right vibe for the product category.

 

 

 

3. 3D Depth

The three-dimensional website design trend keeps ebbing and flowing. And right now, it is flowing with full-screen 3D elements for maximum depth that makes you feel like you can almost dive into the screen.

While most of these designs use illustration with animation to create the 3D scene, you don’t have to abide by this example. The goal is to create something that looks and feels immersive so that users will want to take part in the experience.

The Match Maker has an 80s gamer vibe where you can feel yourself going down the tunnel on the screen. Additional hover animations move the screen, even more to help you get into the game.


Hafele Discoveries uses a wide-angle style animation with back and forth motion. The fish-eye style of the design adds an element of depth, which is further magnified by the foreground box with text and call to action elements. The design concept is attention-getting, but the motion can be a little dizzying if you leave it on the screen too long.

FiveT Hydrogen takes a more “traditional” approach to a three-dimensional website design with an illustration/animation that includes elements of depth. This is magnified on the scroll action of the design with shadows and layers and a variety of elements – real and illustrated – that make you feel like part of what’s happening on the screen. It’s an immersive learning experience about clean hydrogen that almost forces users to keep scrolling. The 3D effect is what takes it to another level.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Not every design trend is right for every project. Take a good look at what you are trying to accomplish and match it with a design concept.

If you want to try one of these trends, but they are a little too out there, experiment with a small area of the design or a landing page first. That’s a good place to test ideas and conversion rates to see if the design technique will work for your audience.

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The Ultimate Guide to Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)

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60% of global respondents in a LinkedIn survey believed that misalignment between sales and marketing could damage financial performance (LinkedIn 2020), yet there are a number of disconnects between the teams from strategy to process. At many companies, it can feel as if there are 100 miles between sales and marketing.

Read more


Top 5 Signs You Need to Start a Digital Marketing Agency [VIDEO]

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Your digital marketing agency can turn your annual revenue into monthly revenue if you do it right. Running an agency is far from a walk in the park, but for the determined and passionate entrepreneurs—it’s one of the rides of a lifetime. Like any other business, agencies come with potholes and huge pitfalls. Avoid the inconveniences and potential business killers by learning how to run your agency with help from the experts.

Blog Highlight: https://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog/…

WHAT IS DIGITALMARKETER:

DigitalMarketer is the premier online community for digital marketing professionals. It’s a place where you can learn how to market like a pro, connect with industry experts, and get the strategies and tools you need to grow and scale your business to new heights. https://www.digitalmarketer.com/

Related DigitalMarketer Course: https://www.digitalmarketer.com/partn…

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