Paige working at a laptop, curating to build the best email audiences for our clients

Email is still one of the best ways to communicate with and market to your audience. It remains an essential communication tool used by the majority of the population and is how most customers prefer to receive communications from brands. However, email’s strength as a marketing tool depends on the quality of your audience list. An engaged audience is interested in your newsletters, with a substantial portion opening, reading, and clicking them. The key is building that perfect subscriber list. We’ll explain the proven strategies for building your best email audience list in this blog.

A Visible and Present Email Signup

You might only just be starting your email newsletter and need to build your subscriber list or you’re looking to grow it to a more substantial following. To get more users, you will need them to voluntarily sign up and explicitly consent to receiving your emails. Provide an email signup that is always accessible to users. The standard place to put an email signup is in your website’s footer. This will provide a visible but unobtrusive signup form on every page of your site. No matter what page a user visits, they can see the option to sign up. Another option is at your point of sale (POS) online and in-person. Your online checkout can include a simple checkbox where users can provide their consent to receive email signups. As customers check out in your brick-and-mortar store, you can similarly provide an opportunity for them to sign up by offering digital receipts.

A Website Popup

Another standard method for collecting emails is a website prompt that offers users an email signup form. This ensures every visitor learns about your email list in case they do not see the form in your website’s footer. Be sure to delay this popup to at least 30 seconds or one minute after someone has been browsing your website. Also, the popup should be easily closed and not obscure the entire webpage. If a popup is too immediate and obtrusive, it will only annoy new visitors to your website. Imagine someone asking you to buy a car before getting a test drive or even seeing the interior. Give users a moment to recognize your business’ value proposition so their interest is piqued. They will then be more likely to want to sign up for your newsletter when prompted.

Enticing Sign Ups

It can help to incentivize users and customers to sign up to your email newsletter. A prevalent but effective strategy is to provide a one-time discount to those who subscribe to your newsletter for the first time. This is great for those already browsing and/or shopping on your site, where the footer and popup can notify them of this discount. To attract other users, we recommend hosting a giveaway or contest where signing up to your newsletter is a requirement for entry. With an enticing prize, users will happily agree to provide their email. Note if you are a service-based business providing a discount will also work, or alternatively, you could provide a sampling of what you provide, such as a free template or one module of a course you provide.

Collect Pertinent Information for Your List

You want to make your signup process simple and fast, otherwise users may abandon it and never join your list. However, there is some essential information you want to collect. Besides the necessary email and explicit consent, you will also want to collect their first and last name. This will help specify the customer in your email system, and you will be able to automatically send emails personalized to their first name in the body text and subject line of future emails. Such personalization gets their attention and can increase open rates by up to 50%

Further Personalization for the Best Email Audience

More information about your email subscribers will allow you to craft even more personalized emails. This can include automated communications, such as product recommendations. You don’t and can’t collect that data from the start. Instead, that is information you can gather based on their purchases or browsing behaviour on your website. Email platforms can connect to your ecommerce to unify this information. Another method for obtaining some more of this information is to provide voluntary surveys that help you collect valuable information. 

The Best Email Audience is a Clean Email Audience

A lot of this has focused on growing and expanding the information in your email list. However, a bigger email list is not always better. Be sure to regularly clean out your email audience of any disengaged members. Subscribers who don’t open or click your emails will negatively impact these rates, but more importantly, won’t give you a proper sense of what email content is resonating. Set up automations that both sunset and try to win back these subscribers. In either case, you will have a reengaged subscriber or cleaned your list to be more effective.

Constant Maintenance

All these strategies are essential to building your best email audience. Just like the perfect garden, the truly best email list needs to be constantly maintained with sowing, fertilizing, pruning, and weeding. If you’re wanting to start email newsletters, expand your audience, or set up crucial automations, contact us about our expert email services.

Person holding a phone, engaging in social commerce as it drives sales

Social media has become an essential marketing tool for growing your business’ reach and reputation. However, another one of social media’s goals, like other marketing, is to convert that attention into sales. One of the best tools for accomplishing that is ‘Social Commerce’, where products are sold directly on social media. We’ll explain what social commerce is and how you can leverage social media to drive sales.

What is Social Commerce?

Social commerce is selling products directly through a social media platform. Product discovery, selection, and checkout all occur on the platform rather than redirecting individuals to your own store. It’s a service that is now available on most major social media platforms, including InstagramFacebook, and TikTok. For all three, you create product listings that appear in a shop on your account. Users can then browse and order products directly through the app. In exchange for offering the service, the platform takes a percentage of the sale as a fee. 

The Benefits of Social Commerce

Social commerce is different from eCommerce which happens on a business’ own dedicated website or online store. As a result, you have slightly less control over the presentation, and it requires creating a store dedicated to the platform. However, there are clear benefits to using social commerce to drive sales. 

People Use Social Media to Shop

Over 80% of users research products using social media and nearly half of both Millennials and Gen Z are already making purchases on social media. Social commerce immediately drives sales because you provide a shopping experience for these many users precisely when they are actively searching for or considering products. 

A Seamless Shopping Experience

That immediacy and convenience also translate into an effective shopping experience that helps further drive sales. Social commerce provides the opportunity for a potential customer to immediately purchase upon discovering a product they like. This creates a more streamlined shopping experience. Rather than leaving the app, navigating to the product on your digital store, adding it to their cart, and filling in their information to complete their purchase, the user can immediately checkout and continue their browsing. The eCommerce checkout can be a moment where carts are abandoned and sales lost. The speedy and seamless shopping experience of social commerce means there are fewer chances to lose the customer’s attention and that purchase.

A More Thorough Representation of Your Business on Social

Another benefit of social commerce is that you can better showcase the products that your company provides on social media. You could make posts for every product you sell, and you should highlight new items, but these inherently move down the feed as time progresses. Those ever-drifting posts aren’t an effective way to continuously show off your entire catalogue. Instead, the dedicated storefront of a social commerce space on your profile allows social media users to conveniently get a better sense of your products and services without needing to leave the app. 

Shopping That Reaches Your Audience

Social media platforms have an incredible amount of user data at their disposal. With social commerce, you can use that data to promote specific products to those whom the platform knows to have certain interests. Because of the wealth of data available, these product suggestions can be highly specific. For example, one product might suit a certain demographic like men in their 40s, while another suits young adult women. Each can be selectively targeted on social commerce to users in those demographics. Specific product suggestions of this specificity on your own eCommerce store need a shopping history and will take time to generate. Social commerce allows you to specifically tailor such suggestions and promotions from the start.

Social Commerce Isn’t the End of eCommerce

Social commerce has clear benefits for driving sales, but it doesn’t replace eCommerce and having a dedicated digital store and website. It’s an addition and effective supplement to your eCommerce strategy. Ultimately, the goal is to drive sales away from social media platforms, which take a 2-5% cut, to shopping and browsing on your own digital storefront. There customers can browse and better familiarize themselves with your products in a space that is exclusively dedicated to them. Social commerce’s strength is in getting new customers as they are generally browsing and securing that initial sale. That sale then converts someone into a dedicated customer when they understand the quality of your products. 

Making the Most of Social Commerce

Social commerce’s ability to convert and drive sales lies in the shopping convenience it creates for those actively browsing. It’s a valuable tool for attracting and recapturing dedicated customers. If you think social commerce is part of your next social media strategy, contact us at Rosewood. We’ll be happy to help you expand your eCommerce horizons. 

Dasha working on a website at her laptop with a coffee.

Privacy protection is a growing issue for legislators in many countries, and Canada is no exception. With digital platforms and tools able to collect more information than ever before, countries need to be sure that users’ data is being collected and used in an ethical and safe way. Currently, Canada is drafting a series of acts for protecting personal information and data, including the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA) to replace the PIPEDA. While it is still only in its second reading, it will likely be enacted this year with minor changes. User information and data are vital tools for marketers, so they need to understand this new privacy landscape. We explain how privacy regulation is becoming more prominent and what marketers need to know and consider.

A Surge in Data and Privacy Regulation

In recent years, there has been a wave of new digital privacy regulations with a slew of acronyms. One of the first major acts was the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. Since then, many members of the EU also revised or are drafting their own privacy acts. Outside of Europe, Canada is just one of the many nations revising and updating their own digital privacy legislation. Australia is also drafting its own, while India is currently voting on the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB). Brazil passed its own Brazilian Data Protection Law (LGPD) in 2019. In the U.S., numerous states have enacted and are currently drafting their own legislation.

Privacy Legislation in Other Provinces, States, and Countries

All those different acts are important for marketers and businesses. If operating and potentially collecting data from users internationally, they need to be sure they are following that nation’s privacy laws. That’s still something to consider even when working within Canada. Most places in Canada are subject to both federal and provincial law. While the federal government is still currently working its way through the legislative process for the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022, individual provinces like BC and Quebec have already passed and updated their own provincial legislation in anticipation. This is a similar situation for the EU, where each member can have its own privacy legislation in addition to the GDPR, e.g. Germany. It’s slightly different in the U.S., which has no overarching data protection and security law. Instead, individual states, such as CaliforniaVirginia, and Colorado have enacted their own privacy laws. 

Most of these data protection laws are being drafted with similar considerations for individual privacy. However, different countries and regions may have important differences or restrictions/allowances for certain industries. If a marketer is ever working with user information from these areas, it is best that they familiarize themselves with any specific requirements. 

Platform Regulations and Policy

These national, provincial, or stated requirements exist alongside any additional privacy policies set by other companies, such as Apple. Many of the platforms used for marketing, such as MetaGoogle, or Klaviyo also have their own policies about how data is collected and used. In turn, those platforms must also follow legislation, or else face serious fines. While breaches in these policies might not result in legal action for a business, they can result in their suspension or removal from the service. That can severely impact a company’s marketing opportunities as well as their and a marketer’s reputation.

What Does This New Privacy Landscape Mean for Marketing?

The CPPA is meant to protect users and ensure their right to control their information. If marketers are already treating user data with the care it deserves, then they will see little changes to their current strategies. However, there are some specifics of Canada’s new CPPA that marketers should remember:

  • Valid Consent: A primary concern of the CPPA is that users must provide valid consent for their information to be collected and used. This still includes the idea of “implied consent”, but only in instances where the information is necessary.
  • Plain language: One of the biggest facets of the CPPA is clear communication. Whenever requesting consent, a business will need to include a full explanation in “plain language” that details what, how, and why information is being collected, stored, and used. Thankfully, communication and writing in plain and clear language is a standard marketing expertise.
  • Revoking Consent: The CPPA will require that users can easily revoke their consent at any time and have their data disposed. Whether that information was collected via a website, through email, or on social media, marketers and data managers must be prepared to remove that information.
  • Explaining the Algorithms and AI: Since artificial intelligence and algorithms are becoming more advanced, the new CPPA will require organizations to be transparent about how user information is being used with algorithms and more complex learning models to generate content such as personalized messaging.

How the New Legislation Helps Marketers

Those new requirements might make data collection more difficult and affect your metrics. However, it will also help marketers navigate this new privacy landscape. Once legislation passes, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada will create a new accessible list of best practices. This already exists for previous acts, such as the Digital Privacy Act. These parse through the legislation to provide guidelines in clear and directed language for how marketers and organizations should follow the new legislation. This is valuable for marketers since it is a comprehensive list for their own reference. These best practices are also great support documentation to show clients what the requirements are and why.

The Changing Landscape of Privacy

This new legislation in Canada and other nations are creating a new privacy landscape. However, most of it will be familiar territory to marketers already following these best practices and collecting and using data information honestly and ethically. When the CPPA finalizes later this year, we will have a full sense of its requirements and specifications. For now, if you want to ensure your marketing and data collection is prepared for these oncoming requirements, contact our marketing team.