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  • 5 Ways You Can Leverage Social Media in Your Email Marketing

    Post From http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/listrak/EmailMarketing/~3/8qhUgEFI0wE/5-ways-you-can-leverage-social-media-in_23.html

    Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s time to start using it to your advantage by aligning your social media and email marketing! It’s definitely worthwhile: by spending a few hours promoting their company on social media every week, 91% of marketers claimed these efforts greatly increased their exposure. That exposure could lead to more website traffic, better SEO, and improved conversion rates. Sign us up!

    Social media has become a part of our daily lives. 76% of Facebook users log in to their accounts every day. This is the reason why two million businessesare using Facebook as a marketing channel.

    On the other hand, Instagram earns $595 million in mobile ad revenue per year, with 51% of users saying they check the platform daily (and 35% saying they check it several times a day!).

    And finally for Snapchat: over 400 million snaps are shared every day, and Snapchat ads are being viewed anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million times daily!

    If your customers follow you on social media, you can continue to nurture that relationship outside the inbox. Establish a presence everyday news-feed prowl with reminders that you exist and are there for them. With “likes,” “retweets,” and more, your customers are further engaging with you and building a positive relationship with your brand.

    Take a look at our 5 favorite social strategies to help you get started.

    1: Encourage engagement with a hashtag

    Instagram posts that use at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without. Crazy, right? So why not encourage that engagement with a brand-specific hashtag?

    At the very moment that we’re writing this, #TeeFury has 61,373 posts on Instagram. If your brand has that many people wanting to share their nerdy t-shirts, you’d better utilize that! And they do – at the bottom of every marketing email, TeeFury encourages their readers to share their photos using #TeeFury. Below this headline, the brand showcases some user generated content and even links each picture to the featured tee. This is an awesome tactic to not only encourage engagement, but also a purchase!


    Crate & Barrel does an excellent job using brand-specific hashtags as well. Users are encouraged to show “a little Insta love” using #CrateStyle. The resulting UGC aren’t photos staged in a state-of-the-art studio with perfect lighting and a professional photographer; the results are real people in real situations showing off their Crate & Barrel products. Not only does this show brand loyalty, but it’s also inspiring for potential customers to discover what they can do with their #CrateStyle!

    2: Create an Instagram contest

    People love contests, and they love winning them even more! A well-run contest can be a highly effective tactic to gain new followers.

    Anthropologie utilizes this tactic well with their #SummerInASnap contest. Users can enter to win a $250 gift card – all they have to do is post a photo of themselves with an Anthropologie product and include the hashtags #SummerInASnap and #AnthroContest.

    Easy, right? We think this simple strategy is totally worth it – after all, Instagram accounts that hold contests grow their followers 70% faster over three months than accounts that don’t. You’ll also love reining in those likes: Instagram contests get 3.5 times more likes and 64 times more comments on average than regular posts!

    3. Call out what’s trending

    For those busy readers, just call out the highlights! Using gorgeous large images and informational captions, BHLDN features what’s trending on their social pages in this example.

    First, they showcase the most-liked pic on Instagram accompanied by the most-shared post on Facebook beneath it. By doing this, BHLDN is making sure their readers stay in-the-know on what their fellow shoppers are engaging with on social. You’ll notice this brand also shows off the top-pinned image on Pinterest. By doing this, they’re actually encouraging a purchase! A recent study showed that 93% of active pinners use Pinterest to plan for purchases, and 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest.

    Here’s to pinning some gorgeous dresses to our “Dream Wedding” boards!

    4: Encourage users to share exciting sales

    It’s a no-brainer that you’d want to get sale exposure everywhere you can. This is where your readers come in! Here, Francesca’s advertises a huge sale in a broadcast email and then encourages their readers to share the exciting news.

    The large 60% off sales offer really catches the reader’s eye; the purple in the offer also matches the color of the Twitter icon, leading your eye from one important element to the next. With the large call-to-action button, the brand makes it simple to click and spread the news!

    If you’re thinking of doing this for your brand, make sure your tweet includes an image. Tweets with images receive 18% more click-throughs, 89% more likes, and 150% more retweets!

    5: Don’t forget about Snapchat!

    In this example, Old Navy does an excellent job of capturing attention with bold, bright colors and the use of the word “free.” They also made a custom Snapchat filter. How cool is that? This brand is trying to capture their reader’s attention with the free denim tattoos, but they also quickly drop the hint that they’re on Snapchat.

    Snapchat is the second most powerful platform in the US (it has more users than Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn!), so filters are a great marketing tool to garner more brand awareness. By using a branded Snapchat filter, you’ll get your logo seen by not only the person taking the Snapchat, but all of the user’s friends who view it! You can design your own filter online (or upload a design) for only $5.

    Are you convinced yet? Let us know how you plan to incorporate social into your future messages!
    And if you’re already doing this, way to go! Comment to tell us your favorite strategies.

    Elsie Compton
    Graphic Designer
    Alicia Morrissey

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  • How to Turn Salads Into Epic One-Dish Meals

    Post From http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PaleoPlan/~3/d0eBlZRehfQ/


    Salads are such a fantastic concept because they can carry such a diverse load of flavors. The trick is in making healthier choices for what you are mixing up in your salad bowl, and realize that you don’t need the cheese, sugary vinaigrettes, ranch dressings, or croutons in order for them to be tasty. Salad building can range from super simple to completely sophisticated. There are so many options, there is something for everybody’s tastes!

    14 Ways to Build a Meal-Quality Salad

    You can get really wild when it comes to salad building. Between the different greens, nuts, meats, veggies, fruits, and salad dressings, one could never tire of the endless possibilities! Below are some of the best salad tips to ensure that you are getting the most out of your salads during any season or meal.

    1. Go for Protein


    Be sure to get enough protein into your salads if you are having them as entrees or you’ll be hungry shortly after your meal. Balance is what you must learn when becoming a professional salad builder.

    Creating a Paleo entrée salad means building your dish around protein! Adding seeds and nuts are a great way to go, but don’t forget that you can prepare yourself a lovely piece of meat just for your salad, or use leftovers from other meals! Some ideas for your salad protein include, but are definitely not limited to:

    • Grilled or sous vide steak
    • Pulled pork or chicken
    • Coconut fried shrimp, chicken, oysters
    • Marinated shrimp
    • Pan fried, baked, or steamed fish
    • Crab or fish cake
    • Eggs, soft boiled, hard boiled, poached
    • Bacon
    • Meatballs
    • Sausage
    • Tenderloins
    • Roasts
    • Duck breasts

    2. Learn Some Knife Skills

    The way your vegetable or protein is pulled, chopped, ribboned, or diced can make a big difference when it comes to salad building. Learning to use the proper knives for the proper ingredients can be as simple as finding a YouTube tutorial, or taking a basic cooking skills class.

    3. Spiralize and Shred

    Use your veggie peeler or spiralizer to create ribbons of cucumber, summer squash, carrots, or just about anything else!

    4. Add Leftovers

    Try topping with last night’s leftover protein or starches. Nothing is off limits when it comes to building up your salad to create yummy texture and heartiness! The “salad rules” that exist for what can and can’t go in a bowl should be thrown out the window.

    5. Build Your Own Greens Blend

    greens blend

    Pair butter lettuces with mache, arugula with spinach, and so on. The pre-made salad mixes are handy, but if you get stuck in salad ruts and aren’t sure why, it may be your salad mix holding you back! Try reaching beyond the spring mixes and experiment with some peppery and spicy additions, sprouts, or tender heads of red leaf or bibb lettuces. You can also try adding some sturdy kale, or throwing in chard with your chopped romaine.

    Amping up your leafy base can start you off on the right foot with salad building, and can also introduce a wide variety of different nutrients. Some great salad greens include:

    • Bibb and butter lettuces
    • Kale, lacinato, red or curly varieties
    • Chard
    • Red leaf
    • Green leaf
    • Romaine, red tipped romaine
    • Arugula
    • Watercress
    • Micro greens
    • Spinach

    6. Think Outside the Box

    Experiment with mixing cooked and raw veggies and fruits together to create interesting texture and flavor. Here are some ideas for you to get some fun and funky flavors into your entrée salad rotations, not to mention some serious nutrients:

    • Berries
    • Marinated vegetables, like eggplant
    • Herbs, like combining basil, mint, and cilantro
    • Quick pickled veggies, like sliced cucumbers, fennel, or daikon radish
    • Ferments, like kraut or kimchi
    • Roasted veggies, like sweet potatoes, squash, cauliflower, and broccoli
    • Dates or figs
    • Apples, pears, mangos, cherries
    • Sea vegetables, like hijiki or arame
    • Red, green, and Napa cabbage, shredded thinly
    • Olives
    • Grilled romaine or lemon halves for a smoky and charred flavor and texture

    7. Get Your Granola On

    Most of the following items can be tossed with coconut, sea salt, and raw honey and roasted at 325ºF for 15 minutes to create a savory and sweet grain-free granola to add to your salads. Or use individual items a la carte.

    • Chia seeds
    • Flax seeds
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Black sesame seeds
    • Hemp seeds
    • Goji berries
    • Mulberries
    • Unsweetened dried fruit
    • Coconut flake
    • Freeze dried berries
    • Pecans
    • Pistachios
    • Pine nuts
    • Walnuts
    • Hazelnuts
    • Almonds
    • Chopped Brazil nuts
    • Macadamia nuts

    8. DIY Your Dressing

    Making your own dressing can be really fun, and better tasting than most that are store bought! When eating Paleo, sneaky sugars and ingredients can be hard to avoid when buying packaged or bottled convenience foods, like dressings. So try your hand at making your own combos.

    Try flipping the classic ratio of 3:1 fat to acid to 3:1 acid to fat. This creates more vibrant and tangy dressings which work best on hearty salads! A little hack to save you time: add all vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar with a lid and shake to combine. Bonus, now it’s ready to store in the fridge for your next use.

    Another trick: the next time you are at the end of your mustard jar, instead of tossing aside, add minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar, a dab of honey, sea salt, and some avocado or olive oil. Shake vigorously, and voila!—a mustard vinaigrette, ready to use and ready to store!

    For a dairy-free creamy dressing, blend nuts and veggies together, with plenty of sea salt and lemon juice. Some of my favorite innovative creamy dressing combos:

    • Carrot, ginger root, apple, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, sesame oil, sea salt
    • Green apple, cilantro and some stems, jalapeno, garlic cloves, champagne vinegar, avocado oil, sea salt
    • Avocado, spinach, basil, garlic clove, lemon, olive oil, avocado oil, sea salt
    • Walnuts, coconut aminos, lime juice, a little maple syrup, olive oil, avocado oil, sea salt

    9. Eat the Rainbow

    The pigments which add color to your fruits and vegetables are great for collagen production, providing antioxidants, trace minerals, phytonutrients, and can even contain cancer fighting properties. (1)

    Plus, colorful food is just so much fun to eat! Don’t be nervous to blend fruits, berries, seeds, nuts, herbs, and veggies.

    10. Choose a Theme

    If I am in the mood for richness, I will have a creamy dressing made from homemade aioli or an avocado based dressing, adding buttery olives, and tender deep greens like spinach. Or if I am in the mood for something bright and tangy, I will lean towards lime juice cilantro over red leaf lettuce with lots of spicy microgreens!

    Some tips for creating themes and balance within your salads are as follows:

    • With bitter leaves, try adding sweeter nuts and fruits to balance, like pecans and berries or walnuts and apples.
    • For inspiration, I focus on foods that I like or that I am craving and try to build around that concept. Lasagna, for example, is what I am craving, so I will try to use ingredients that lend themselves to that flavor profile: spinach, oregano, basil, chili, tomatoes, olives, chicken sausage, or beef and bison meatballs with a creamy cashew-lemon and pine nut dressing!
    • Or maybe I have a hankering for Thai food. I would lean towards cilantro, shredded carrot, cabbage, radish, coconut flakes, lime, mango, macadamia nuts, black sesame seeds, kimchi, and shrimp, fish, or chicken.

    11. Toss That Salad

    I make my salads in a large metal or glass mixing bowl first, so that it is simple to dress and toss, and easier to plate it up in my prettier bowls. It may sound like a small tip, but it changes the game when your salad is evenly dressed, seasoned, and served well.

    12. Keep It Simple

    I eat leafy green salad with every meal, even on top of my eggs in the morning. Do not underestimate the value of simple. Lemon and olive oil with salt and pepper is just scrumptious, and sometimes just what the doctor ordered! It is always a good idea to sidle up a simple salad alongside your entrée protein.

    13. Take It With You

    Mason jars for salad packing are fantastic. Always start by putting your dressing on the bottom, so it doesn’t sog out your greens and more delicate toppings. Just layer up all your fixings, screw on the lid, and shake when ready to eat!

    14. Reuse

    For anyone who likes a bathtub-sized salad, try reusing salad greens containers, like Organic Girl. These are the perfect size for my entrée-style salads. I take it with me on the road, to the airport, into meetings, and more. I just find them so handy to pile up all my favorite salad fixings! You don’t even have to pack dressing. Just add lemon halves along with some avocado, and voila: you’ve got your acid and your fat, perfect to dress your salad and make it delicious down to the last bite.


    The post How to Turn Salads Into Epic One-Dish Meals appeared first on Paleo Plan.

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    Need help deciding to stay or go… Ive been dating a very sweet man for the last four months. We met at a job so I’ve known him since Feb. and I admired his hard working attitude. He is not good with money tho (at least as far as I am concerned) I am very conservative and

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  • Holiday Email Trends and Tactics: Unwrap Your Potential for Success

    Post From http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/listrak/EmailMarketing/~3/BHnezFP6Zko/holiday-email-trends-and-tactics-unwrap.html

    The holiday season will be upon us in just a few short months, and it’s no secret that the “most wonderful time of the year” is without a doubt, the biggest sales period around the world. According to the National Retail Federation, last year’s holiday retail sales climbed 4%, which led to $658.3 billion in sales. As sales grow each year, consumers continue to take advantage of these holiday deals. Whether consumers get a head start on their holiday shopping, or wait until the last minute, their ultimate goal is to complete their holiday gift list. The question for you is, how are you taking advantage of the holiday season? If you want your holiday sales to be merry and bright, you’ll need a solid email marketing plan.

    Like it or not, all marketers need to dig in to data in order to improve campaigns. By looking at holiday data from the previous year, you can find insights and statistics that can help boost holiday sales and conversions.

    Our Research:

    In order to find insights on holiday email campaigns, I monitored an inbox that was receiving messages from 500 retailers. Through my research, I focused on emails that were received during the 2016 holiday season (October-December). During this time period, I received 12,597 emails. While monitoring the inbox, I searched for specific keywords that were holiday-related; such as Black Friday, Boxing Day, Christmas, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day, Green Monday, Hanukkah, Holiday, Kwanzaa, Small Business Saturday, and Super Saturday.

    Out of all the emails received during the holiday season, 39% contained a holiday keyword.

    October: Get ahead of the Holidays

    With the holiday season kicking off earlier and earlier each year, retailers should start sending out their holiday campaigns in October, especially considering that the NRF found 41% of consumers already started holiday shopping by then. Through my research, I found that in my inbox of 500 retailers, only 31% sent holiday related emails in October. With more and more consumers starting their holiday shopping before October, retailers should focus on finding different ways to start building excitement for November and December.

    In my inbox, I found that more than half of the holiday related emails received in October were focused on early holiday shopping.

    While we received a couple of emails prior to October 1, the majority of the first holiday emails we received was on November 7.

    Emphasizing the holidays in advance can ease shoppers in and keep your brand at the top of mind. You may ask, how can I do this? A great example would be creating a gift guide. According to the NRF, 49% of early holiday shoppers want to avoid crowds and stress. A gift guide can create an easy, stress-free shopping experience for the typical early bird or give ideas to shoppers looking to purchase closer to the holidays. By promoting your holiday campaign early, you begin attracting potential customer’s and easing them in weeks beforehand so they’ll be ready with cash in hand when it comes time to shop.

    November: ‘Tis the Season for Deals

    According to NRF, more than half of consumers already start holiday shopping before the Thanksgiving weekend. While some consumers start shopping in October, the majority focus their main shopping in November, and with a 17% increase in spending Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday (according to ComScore), there are plenty of opportunities to engage customers.

    In my inbox, over half of the emails received on Black Friday included a sale. Likewise, for Cyber Monday. Retailers know the holidays drive immense amounts of revenue, and the volume of email sent out goes through the ceiling, but that doesn’t mean success will be easy for your holiday campaign. This is the time you need to stand out from the crowd and be conscious of major shopping days. There are predictable patterns to when purchases will peak during the holiday season, so keep the Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday in mind. A tip you could consider would be sending Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns earlier this year. Consumers will be bombarded with emails, so getting on shopper’s minds when they’re planning their holiday shopping strategy is crucial to capture potential customers. According to my research, I found that more than half of Black Friday related emails we received were sent before Black Friday. On the other hand, less than half of Cyber Monday-related emails  were sent before Cyber Monday.

    As the shopping season approaches, your customers will begin to get bombarded with emails. However, that’s no reason you can’t make the most of the holiday season. With key dates in mind, you could see some truly magical results for your efforts in November.

    December: Last Chance!

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over by now, but December is still a huge month for consumers’ holiday spending. Despite the mayhem in November, many retail categories still saw their biggest numbers in the month of December last year. According to the NRF, on December 16, 90% of people were still holiday shopping. This is a huge opportunity for retailers to emphasize action.

    With 9 out of 10 consumers still looking to complete their holiday gift lists, you can imagine they could be in panic mode. An idea to ease the minds of stressed shoppers could be to utilize Super Saturday. For those who haven’t finished holiday shopping yet, this is the perfect time to highlight limited time offers, discounts, and fast free shipping. According to my inbox, over 80% of holiday emails sent in December offered free shipping, but only 10% emphasized when the key shipping dates were to get orders in time for the holidays.

    While the focus of most holiday email campaigns are before the holidays, consider post-holiday. At the end of December, encourage subscribers to use gift cards they’ve received, purchase accessories that add extra value to gifts they’ve received, or reassure shoppers to get what they really wanted. (Especially when according to NRF, 58% percent of consumers plan to buy for themselves after the holiday season.)

    Q4 provides an opportunity for your company to introduce holiday email marketing campaigns to land some big sales. Holiday data from previous years can be used to improve campaigns and can provide more opportunities to boost sales and conversions. By using this data, you can “unwrap” your potential and have a holiday season full of success.

    As you prepare for the upcoming holiday season, we’re here to help. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments section.

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