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Move over mobile marketing: A little voice is whispering that your time as “the next big thing” is almost up.

Actually, that whisper is more of a shout, and it’s “Echo”-ing across the digital landscape, as voice-response technology is rapidly emerging as the most disruptive force to hit the industry since the internet became a visual medium.

Just how loud will this sonic boom be? Here are a few data points about the impact voice-centric digital communication is havin
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g on consumers – and how marketers are responding:

55% of adults will have a smart speaker by 2022, per OC&C Strategy Consultants, more than doubling the nearly 20% of U.S. adults who report they have one today, according to a 2018 Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report.

55% of adults will have a smart speaker by 2022 via @OCC_Strategy. #technologyClick To Tweet

24% of respondents would rather use a voice assistant than visit a website, according to a study from Capgemini.

24% of people would rather use a voice assistant than visit a website, says @capgemini #research.Click To Tweet

43% of companies already invest in technology to enable voice marketing, according to a survey taken at the 2018 Digiday AI Marketing Summit.

43% of companies invest in #technology to enable voice marketing via 2018 @digiday AI Marketing Summit survey.Click To Tweet
If your brand is starting to hear Siri’s siren-like call to action, here are some insights and considerations you might find helpful:

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Voice Search: Is Your Content Prepared for the Verbal Revolution?
Latest word on voice-based shopping
Research from OC&C Strategy Consultants projects that voice shopping will jump to $40 billion in 2022 (up from $2 billion today). However, the last-touch voice commerce experience has yet to reach the mass adoption levels that retailers like Amazon initially envisioned.

According to an Adobe Analytics Report shared by Adweek, consumers are more likely to use digital-assistant technology to inform a buying decision (47%), add items to a shopping list (43%), or compare product prices (32%) than to rely on purchasing-via-speaker as their primary digital shopping technique. And even those who use voice-ordering do so on a limited basis, such as placing one-time orders for delivery (25%) or reordering products (21%).

Read: A New Adobe Study Reveals How Consumers Are Actually Using Voice to Shop

Searching for voice assistance
Even if consumers won’t necessarily delegate their holiday shopping duties to Alexa this year, there are plenty of other ways brands can – and should – start to integrate voice-response technology into their marketing plans.

Like most marketing journeys, the impending voice revolution is likely to start with a search. Billions of them, in fact, as data from Alpine.AI reveals there are already over 1 billion voice searches conducted every month, and comScore estimates that, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice-based.

By 2020, half of all searches will be voice-based, says @comScore. #technologyClick To Tweet
To compete on this noisy (literally) landscape, content marketers may need to follow a few SEO guidelines that relate to the informational needs and behaviors of spoken-word searchers. For example, as a blog post by U.K.-based content agency JBH points out, voice search queries tend to relate to on-the-go topics and are more likely to require only low levels of direct interaction (at least, according to Google). Content marketers may want to focus their content voice-search-optimization efforts on emphasizing shorter-form content offerings and those that provide quick, concise answers – like FAQ pages.

Read: Is Voice Search the Future of Content Marketing?

Consider: When it comes to optimizing your content for voice search, it’s also important to remember that digital assistant devices only deliver one search result per request. The key to putting your brand on the tip of Siri’s tongue may lie in getting your content to appear as a featured snippet – the most prominent spot on the SERP. Stephan Spencer offers a helpful primer on how to accomplish this SEO goal.

Put your brand on the tip of Siri’s tongue by getting your #content to appear as a featured snippet. @joderamaClick To Tweet
HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: How to Optimize Your Website for Audio Search
Chatting up your customers
A complete view of the marketing opportunities in conversational interfaces has yet to take shape. But, brands also can open up to verbal discussion by building a voice-enabled chatbot that’s capable of delivering relevant information and helpful content in response to customers’ spoken inquiries.

Using advances like natural language processing (NLP), chatbots are increasingly able to interpret the meaning and intent of a search query using signals that go beyond the basic inclusion of keywords and phrases. This means greater accuracy of the responses the bot can deliver and, by extension, increased satisfaction with the customer experience your brand provides.

However, to maximize the benefits of chatbot technology, you need a strong underlying strategy for rich content. According to an interview with Urbina Consulting founder Noz Urbina, this includes implementing a thoughtful taxonomy and metadata plan and using processes like task analysis to gain a better understanding of your audience members’ goals and intent as they progress along their customer journey.

Read: Don’t Fear Chatbots If You Have a Rich Content Strategy

Creating a spoken world of engagement
Another point of entry into the voice-response multiverse is to build a custom branded “Skill” – Amazon-speak for a vocal command-driven functionality enhancement (think of it as an audio-only mobile app) for digital assistant enthusiasts. Marketers can create these features to provide consumers with valuable audio content – like daily news briefings, a step-by-step walk-through of a complex recipe, productivity tools, puzzles and games, or even pure storytelling efforts – that extends audience engagement or gives users greater flexibility and control over their interactions with your brand and its products.

Read: How Personalizing Voice Skills Can Give Your Brand a Digital Boost

For example, game show fans can enable the Jeopardy! Skill to answer six unaired questions each day.

USA Network’s Emmy-winning series, Mr. Robot, extended a Season 3 storyline full of tense action, tenuous alliances, and surprising reveals with an interactive choose-your-own-adventure-style game called The Daily Five/Nine.

Furbo – a treat-tossing nanny-cam that lets nervous pet parents check in on their fur-kids via video – uses its Alexa Skill to let customers temporarily bypass its mobile app and reward their pups on (voice) command.

Image source

LEGO recently debuted its Duplo Stories Skill – an interactive storytelling service for children ages 2 to 5 – to encourage them to use their imagination in a way that doesn’t require a huge collection of blocks or the manual dexterity they may not develop until they get older.

According to Digiday, LEGO is also actively exploring other ways voice-response technology might impact its sales and marketing experience in the future – including direct purchases. For example, James Poulter, head of emerging platforms at The Lego Group, sees a time when a person’s LEGO order from Amazon will notify its Alexa device to download the appropriate corresponding Skill and will know when to ask whether they’re happy with the purchase.

Read: Inside LEGO’s Amazon Voice Strategy

Consider: Just because you build a stellar voice-assistant app doesn’t mean the market is primed for driving consumer attention away from their more familiar engagement channels yet.

For example, despite the high adoption rate of digital assistants, the current interface for browsing branded Skills and add-ons isn’t particularly intuitive or easy to navigate, so your brand fans may have trouble finding your offering.

Your Skill also may be expensive and require specialized coding skills to develop. And, after all that creation and production work, your effort may not make it into the Skills marketplace immediately – if at all. In fact, in an Adage article, creative agency 360i contends enterprising marketers looking to do battle in the Skills arena should get comfortable with rejection and be prepared to iterate early and often as it’s rare for Google, Apple, or Amazon to accept new voice app entries right off the bat.

.@Amazon’s Skills arena is tough. Be prepared for rejection and to iterate early and often, says @360i.Click To Tweet
Read: 5 Things Your Brand Should Know About Building a Voice App

Call-and-answer storytelling
Some enterprising B2B brands, like Salesforce, are circumventing the application process altogether by adding their own voice to the digital assistant conversation. According to VentureBeat, Salesforce has announced the launch of Einstein Voice, an extension of its Einstein artificial intelligence platform. The new product allows sales managers to dictate memos and operate cloud services hands-free.

Salesforce cofounder and CTO Parker Harris points out that one of the benefits of building a corporate bot is that it’s siloed so it restricts data pulls to individual users’ accounts. And, because it can be integrated with other voice assistant technologies, Einstein Voice can deliver a daily brief of “key priorities” like upcoming calendar appointments and team pipeline updates.

Read: Salesforce Announces Einstein Voice, a Voice Assistant for Enterprises

Content conclusion
Of course, as with any new technology, information in your content marketing strategy and editorial plan should inform how your business chooses to leverage voice response and how deeply you should invest in it from a content perspective. To determine your brand’s voice friendliness, ask yourself a few key questions:

Is our target audience composed of FOMO-driven early adopters, smart-home enthusiasts, or other demographics/psychographics that are more likely to engage with us here than on our existing content platforms?
Do we know how to make our content experience valuable and contextually relevant to these users?
Do we know what results to expect from our efforts, and how we will evaluate success? 

If the answer is no – or you aren’t even sure how to answer the questions – you might be better off waiting for this technology’s marketing opportunities to become clearer before adding your voice to the conversation.

In the meantime, if you have thoughts to share on the role of voice-response technology in content marketing, feel free to sound off in the comments – I am always happy to hear from you.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: How to Unite Brand Storytelling and Marketing Tech
Mark your calendar to grow your skills on content technology April 8-10 in San Diego. Sign up today for alerts about registration and speakers at ContentTECH 2019.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

The post How Voice-Activated Tech Will Change Content Marketing appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

Read more: contentmarketinginstitute.com
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This edition of MRM's News Bites features Toast, Avero, GoParrot, and Rooam, Waitr, Shake Shack, Cvent and Social Tables, Emma,  GS1 US, honestbee,  Kellogg's, The Connecticut Restaurant Association,TooJay's and Feeding America.

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

New Additions to the Toast Partner Ecosystem
Avero, GoParrot and Rooam have been added as key integrations in the Toast Partner Ecosystem. These new
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application partners will provide restaurants of all sizes access to the technology partners they need to increase revenue, improve operations, and delight their guests. Toast's Partner Ecosystem complements its core point-of-sale, empowering restaurant operators with the flexibility to build their highest-performing restaurant tech stack.

“The Toast Partner Ecosystem is just one of the many ways we empower our restaurant community to know their market and grow their customer base,” said Aman Narang, president and co-founder of Toast. “With the additions of Avero, GoParrot, and Rooam, the Toast Partner Ecosystem is better equipped than ever to contribute to Toast’s vision to help restaurants of all sizes direct each stage of the diner journey.”

Additional details on the growing Toast Partner Ecosystem:

Avero offers restaurant analytics software that enhances Toast data, revealing powerful insights on server performance tracking, inventory management, labor and food cost tracking, revenue management, and more.

GoParrot allows restaurant operators to design a highly customized and beautiful online ordering experience that sends orders straight to Toast. GoParrot includes marketing and loyalty platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that maximizes sales.

Rooam is Toast’s first mobile payment integration that enables guests to open, view, and settle the tab, all from a smartphone. The Rooam and Toast integration gives bars and restaurant operators access to stronger chargeback protection, increased sales, improved guest experience, and an in-app marketing tool.

To learn more about the Toast Partner Ecosystem, see here. 

Waitr Expands into New Cities
Waitr, the restaurant platform for online ordering and on-demand food delivery, expanded into more than 20 new cities across the southern and southeastern United States. The Company, which earlier this year announced a business combination with Landcadia Holdings, Inc. has been rapidly expanding into new cities and striking new deals with notable restaurant partners. Waitr is now available in these areas: 

Alabaster, Alabama
Albany, Georgia
Asheville, North Carolina
Athens, Georgia
Auburn, Alabama 
Barling, Arkansas
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Columbia, South Carolina
 Dothan, Alabama
East Ridge, Tennessee
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Galveston, Texas 
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
 Hixson, Tennessee
Little Rock 
Maumelle, Arkansas
Meridian, Mississippi 
New Iberia, Louisianna
Pelham, Alabama
Sherwood, Arkansas
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Van Buren, Arkansas
Victoria, Texas
Warner Robins, Georgia

Waitr’s platform connects local restaurants to hungry diners in underserved cities in America’s southern and southeastern regions. Today, the company has over 6,200 restaurant partners in over 230 cities in the Southeast U.S.

“Expansion into these exciting new cities allows us to further drive our strategic regional initiatives,” said Chris Meaux, Founder and CEO, Waitr. “By focusing on and specializing in these secondary and tertiary cities, we are able to bring the convenience of Waitr’s online ordering and delivery platform to a large population of consumers who’ve yet to experience our best-in-class service. Customers in these areas can now order from our network of restaurant partners and have a delicious meal delivered from their favorite local restaurant.”

Waitr is fully operational in these new cities bringing convenience and an estimated 850 jobs total to the cities. The company continues to scale with new partnerships and work cross-market with national brands totaling expansion into over 45 cities in 2018 alone. 

Shake Shack Heading to Latin America

Shake Shack's introduction to Latin America will finally come next year, with plans to open in Mexico City with partner Grupo Toks in 2019. Shake Shack is partnering with Grupo Toks, a leading food and retail group based in Mexico City with more than 40 years of knowledge and experience, to launch the first Shack in the region. Together they plan to open 30 total Shacks in Mexico through 2028.

“We couldn’t be more excited about launching in Mexico,” said Michael Kark, Vice President of Global Licensing at Shake Shack. “For years our fans have been asking for Shake Shack to land in their neighborhood, and we’re thrilled thrilled to partner with Grupo Toks to build a place for the CDMX community to gather for a ShackBurger.”

“This is a special day for us as we announce our partnership with Shake Shack. We are very proud to introduce this great place to Mexico City and later to other cities in the country,” said Juan Carlos Alverde Losada, CEO of Grupo Toks. “The mission of Shake Shack (Stand For Something Good) is perfectly aligned with the values of Grupo Toks, and we are excited to connect food lovers with the premium ingredients, service and hospitality that Shake Shack offers.”

In keeping with its mission to Stand For Something Good®, Shake Shack intends to work with local purveyors and producers to create a one-of-a-kind Shack for the Mexico City community. The menu will feature Shake Shack’s signature items including the ShackBurger®, Shack-cago Dog®, classic crinkle-cut fries, beer, wine and frozen custard ice cream.

Cvent Acquired Social Tables
Cvent acquired Social Tables. More than 5,000 organizations and hospitality brands, including Under Armour, Live Nation, Hyatt, The Venetian, ClubCorp, and Forbes, have utilized Social Tables to help them develop and plan nearly 4.5 million events. Cvent acquired Social Tables to help event planners and venues better collaborate to deliver successful events, further accelerating Cvent’s product roadmap and global growth.

Founded in 2011 in Washington, DC, Social Tables offers the world's largest database of to-scale function space with 4 billion square feet available through its search engine. Through its powerful collaboration engine, planners and venues use Social Tables’ EventServicesSolution to diagram events, create seating charts, and share files. One in three full-service hotels in North America uses Social Tables to work with planners to deliver 100,000 meetings and events each month.

Cvent technology delivers the power to source, create, and manage events more efficiently than ever before. By acquiring Social Tables, Cvent now enables:

Improved collaboration between venues and planners: Event planners and venues traditionally manage floor plan design with disparate tools that are cumbersome to use and often inaccurate. Leveraging Social Tables’ Event Services Solution, customers can collaborate to create accurate diagrams and renderings in minutes, allowing for real-time edits that reduce the time spent making critical decisions.
A more visual and interactive venue sourcing experience: By combining the CventSupplierNetwork with Social Tables’ rich function space content, planners can better visualize the event space and select the right venue. This improves the planner’s venue selection experience and also gives venues added confidence that their facilities will meet the planner’s requirements.
Increased group sales for venues: Venues use the Social Tables platform to showcase their unique meeting space online and to create custom proposals that lead to more group business. In a study conducted by STR, Social Tables customers saw an increase of 2% in F&B profitability per-occupied room.

“Cvent is the clear global leader in event management, and we are thrilled to continue the Social Tables journey with them. The company embodies our vision of making face-to-face events more successful,” said Dan Berger, CEO and Founder of Social Tables. “As a fellow DC-area software company, this is even more special for the DC tech community. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with all of our customers to offer our market-leading solutions as part of Cvent. Together, we will improve how events are sourced, managed, and executed.”

“We would not be where we are today without our dedicated customers and employees,” continued Berger. “It takes a village to accomplish what we’ve done, and I couldn’t be more grateful to each of them. I’m truly excited about the additional opportunities we will have going forward with Cvent under Reggie’s leadership.”

“Over the past 19 years, we have helped power the global meetings and events ecosystem, connecting planners with the venues they need to host their events,” said Reggie Aggarwal, CEO and Founder of Cvent. “With Social Tables, we can offer new ways for our event and hospitality customers to work better together to manage events. We’ve known and respected Dan since the inception of Social Tables, and we are extremely excited to welcome him and the rest of the Social Tables team to the Cvent family.”

Emma HQ Launches
Emma launched Emma HQ, the newest innovation in email marketing platforms. Emma HQ is an email campaign and asset manager for distributed businesses, offering franchises and multi-location businesses a single platform from which marketers can manage mailings for a few dozen to thousands of locations or departments. Alongside this, Emma is also announcing a rebranding to reflect the company’s progression.

“Emma HQ has been developed by listening to our customers,” said Cody Bender, Chief Product Officer at Campaign Monitor. “Our customers—especially those in restaurant, higher education and franchise industries—have worked with us directly during the creation of Emma HQ and have helped our product development team build a platform with the features to best address their unique needs. We are excited to see how our customers use Emma HQ to connect with their subscribers.”

“We love Emma because it gives us the sophisticated suite of email marketing tools we need to provide exactly the right content to our member base.” said Kevin Keith, Chief Brand Officer at Orangetheory Fitness, an Emma HQ customer. “The approvals dashboard has simplified our process by speeding up our email approvals for over 1,000 studio newsletters and ensuring brand consistency across the board.”

Emma HQ addresses the evolving needs of marketers at distributed organizations with three unique features:

Brand controls: In order to deliver a consistent brand experience, Emma HQ allows marketers to create and share approved templates down to their sub-accounts, as well as lock creative elements within the templates. Elements can include branding and style aspects, such as font, colors and text size. When using the asset manager, marketers can further create and share approved templates and assets, including company logos, images and files. These features make it simple for individual sub-accounts to create emails with localized content, while still maintaining a recognizable brand across the board. 
Approvals dashboard: Emma HQ simplifies the review and approval process for marketers by allowing them to manage it all from a single dashboard. Before sending, each mailing must be submitted to the approvals dashboard, where corporate marketers can quickly approve content or respond back with edits to ensure every email follows brand standards.
Activity dashboard: The at-a-glance dashboard allows marketers to view recent activity and results from all of their sub-accounts. This increased visibility makes it simple to see which locations are performing well and which ones need more assistance with their email marketing strategy. 

With the development and release of Emma HQ to solve unique issues in the industry, Emma has refreshed its brand to match its ever-changing nature. The new branding reflects the support, efficiency and effectiveness of the email marketing solutions it offers to more than 50,000 customers. The rebranding includes a refreshed logo, positioning and revamped website. Emma HQ is available now. Explore the new platform’s features at myemma.com/emma-hq.

Understanding Block Chain in the Supply Chain
 GS1 US® is establishing a cross-industry discussion group to help companies better understand the transformative qualities of blockchain in the supply chain, and prepare for blockchain implementations using GS1 Standards. The most widely-used supply chain standards in the world, GS1 Standards provide a foundational data structure and systems interoperability to help drive blockchain success. 

The initial meeting will be held November 28-29 in Chicago. Members of GS1 US initiatives in the apparel/general merchandise, foodservice, healthcare and retail grocery industries will join GS1 US experts to discuss how the distributed ledger technology facilitates decentralized, secure, and efficient data exchange. They will navigate how blockchain supports supply chain imperatives, including product traceability and authentication, which can enable product information transparency. The group will also identify process gaps that GS1 Standards and industry can address, align industries on the role of GS1 Standards in blockchain, and develop “Getting Started” guidance. 

“With so many diverse use cases being piloted—from improving product recalls to helping companies meet regulatory requirements—industry has determined that blockchain should be examined more closely,” said Siobhan O’Bara, senior vice president of industry engagement and services. “Leveraging the blockchain expertise and guidance that GS1 US has provided over the last year, this group will help determine a path forward that supports the supply chain’s current and future investments in GS1 Standards, and strengthen the progress we’ve already accomplished in the areas of visibility, traceability and transparency.” 

After the initial face-to-face meeting, the Discussion Group will meet monthly to continue to exchange information around various use cases, and develop guidance and resources. Members interested in joining the group should possess skill sets in one or more of the following areas: data management, sales/account management, inventory management, master data management, operations, or information technology. 
More information about the Discussion Group is available at www.gs1us.org/blockchain-discussion. 

'NewGen Retail'
honestbee unveiled its latest offering: habitat by honestbee, the world's first tech-integrated multi-sensory grocery and dining destination of its kind. CEO & Founder of honestbee, Joel Sng, terms it as 'NewGen Retail' — innovation in retail technology which inspires more human engagement for a multi-sensory shopping experience. 

Entrance to habitat by honestbee: world’s first ‘NewGen Retail’ concept where technology meets experiences through food (PRNewsfoto/honestbee Pte Ltd.)

The global grocery retail market will add US$2.7 trillion in sales to 2022, with growth in the next five years dominated by Asia.1 While Asian grocery sales through e-commerce channels led the 30 percent global growth in the past year,2 90 percent of worldwide retail sales are still done in physical stores.3

At the forefront of innovation in online and offline retail, honestbee is investing on technological know-how to drive convenience, personalisation and multi-sensory experiences by launching the 'NewGen Retail' concept in this new physical space, habitat.

A Fully Integrated Online and Offline Experience

Spanning 60,000 square feet, habitat by honestbee is a full supermarket, speciality fresh grocer, online fulfillment center, retail innovation hub and experiential dining destination all in one thoughtfully designed environment. Over 20,000 Asian and global ingredients and daily essentials can be purchased seamlessly online and offline in one honestbee app.

habitat by honestbee features the world's first robotic collection point (RoboCollect)
Powered by honestbee, habitat offers two world firsts: a cashless checkout experience (AutoCheckout) and robotic collection point (RoboCollect). Orders can be processed end to end in under 5 minutes. Smart infrastructure ensures hassle-free, multi-sensory shopping experience with operational productivity. 

To enter habitat and avail themselves to all the services, customers have to download the honestbee app. This is linked to the credit card or through beePay, honestbee's very own mobile payments wallet to make secure, cashless transactions. 

For purchases of 10 items or less, shoppers can use the "Scan & Go" function on the honestbee app, so they can skip the checkout line and get their items on the spot. For more items, shoppers can drop off their personal trolleys at the convenient AutoCheckout point and habitat will take care of the scanning, packing, payments and delivery. 

Shoppers can order from habitat's food and beverage concepts for dine-in, take-away as well as home delivery, while online grocery orders are fulfilled by shopper bees using overhead conveyor belts for greater productivity before driver bees pick them up for one hour time belt deliveries within the day. 

A Growth Opportunity for Marketplace and F&B Partners

habitat by honestbee's ecosystem and partnership makes it convenient and less expensive for global entrepreneurs and FMCG/F&B partners to establish or expand their presence online and offline. Without having to commit to technological and operational costs as well as infrastructure and fixtures, marketplace partners can enjoy the integration of online and offline, logistics, cashless payment, customer service and data, allowing them to focus on delivering quality, one-of-a-kind dining and shopping experiences. 

Shu Fu reads as “book” and also “comfortable” in Mandarin. Sunlit and surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and lush greenery, it is perfect for reading or meeting with friends over an artisanal coffee at habitat’s very own Hinoki café.
"habitat by honestbee is a beautiful, physical extension of the honestbee brand we all love. With its launch, we now provide tech-enabled convenience, value and quality through food, online and offline. It is a unique combination of a full supermarket, speciality grocer, dining and interactive lifestyle destination. In this thoughtful space, one can expect a multi-sensorial food experience that nourishes, educates and inspires. We designed it so that customers can get their groceries and meals efficiently but also linger and enjoy the experience. " said Pauline Png, VP & Managing Director, habitat by honestbee.

"We are excited to bring this 'NewGen Retail' concept from Singapore to our other eight markets and beyond soon. Guided by our passion for food and technology, we will continue to innovate in O2O solutions to enhance the quality and value of our products and retail experiences. We invite progressive partners and customers to come along with us on this journey!" said Joel Sng, CEO, honestbee.

Pop-Tarts Treats and Tricks

In advance of Halloween, Pop-Tarts® will throw treats and tricks into one bubbling cauldron as it takes over Kellogg's NYC Café. From October 24 -27, the café will exclusively feature new Pop-Tarts recipes designed to surprise unsuspecting taste buds with either a sweet treat or a thrilling flavor trick. 

"This Halloween, we celebrated everyone's favorite things about Pop-Tarts – their soft crust, filling and frosting – to create a one-of-a kind menu full of tasty treats," said Joe Beauprez, Senior Manager of Pop-Tarts Marketing. "With recipes so simple fans can re-create the full menu at home, our café takeover shows there is no limit to how you can enjoy your favorite Pop-Tarts." 

Recipes for recreating all the scary-good Halloween-themed Pop-Tarts creations from the takeover can be found here. While you can simply try out these sweet treats or purchase boxes of Pop-Tarts at the café, you can also choose to take a risk with spooky flavor tricks:

Zombie Eye Tart-Pops – Frosted Cherry Pop-Tarts are coated in icing, rolled into balls, and served by a witch; but keep an eye out, one could satisfy your sweet tooth, the other could shock you with a tongue-twisting, sour surprise 
Finger Freezer Milkshakes – Made with delicious Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts, these dripping-red milkshakes are served up by a mad scientist who was a little too hands-on but don't worry any fingers you may find are only sweet candy 
Fang Sandwiches – Made with tasty Frosted Blueberry Pop-Tarts and marshmallows, your friends will 'dye' when a vampire delights you with these "chatterbox" sandwiches that just might turn their mouths a hilarious blue

The bravest guests at the café can sign up to experience extra frights in the Pop-Tarts "Crypt" beneath the café. Those who survive will be rewarded with the sweetest treat of all – a first taste of new Pop-Tarts® Bites before they are on shelves this December. With everything that's great about Pop-Tarts®,including the soft crust, filling and frosting, these bite-sized pieces are perfect for snacking anytime and anywhere – available in two classic flavors, Frosted Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon.

2018 CRAzies Awards
The Connecticut Restaurant Association (CRA) announced  award winners and finalists for the 2018 CRAzies Awards Gala presented by Sysco. The 24th Annual Awards Gala for the CRA has been renamed the CRAzies, which will recognize the exceptional ability and talent of the restaurant community. 

The honorees for the Connecticut Hospitality Hall of Fame, Restaurateur of the Year, Vendor of the Year and CRA Friend of the Industry have been selected and each of them will be recognized on Monday, December 3 at Foxwoods Resort Casino. The finalists for the other six categories have been selected and public voting is now live at ctrestaurant.org. The vote of the public, the CRA Board of Directors and an additional panel of judges from the industry will help select the overall winners from each category.

The Griswold Inn (Essex) and The Place Restaurant (Guilford) will be inducted into the Connecticut Hospitality Hall of Fame. The 2018 Restaurateur of the Year will be Dorjan Puka and Scott Miller of the DORO Restaurant Group, which owns and operates three West Hartford restaurants (Avert, Treva and Zohara), one Manchester restaurant (Artisanal Burger Company) and a full-service catering company. 

The CRA Vendor of the Year is The Chef’s Warehouse, which is a nation-wide specialty food distributor that is based in Ridgefield, Conn. Rounding out the award announcement is the CRA Friend of the Industry, which will recognize State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury), who has served nine terms in Connecticut’s 15th district and has been a vocal leader for the restaurant and small business community in our state.

“We have some of the finest chefs, restaurateurs and restaurants in the country and we look forward to showcasing the best-of-the-best from our industry,” said CRA Executive Director Scott Dolch. “Quoting the late Steve Jobs, I say to the winners and finalists, ‘here’s to the CRAzy ones…the ones who are CRAzy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do!’” 

As for the finalists, one of the most coveted awards each year is the CRA’s Chef of the Year. The six finalists for 2018 include Corey Cannon from Bricco Trattoria (Glastonbury), Brian Lewis from The Cottage (Westport), Manuel Romero from Olea (New Haven), Chris Sheehan from Max Downtown (Hartford), Matt Storch from Match (Norwalk) and Luke Venner from Elm (New Haven). 

The Server of the Year finalists are Chris Catanesi from Jesup Hall/The Whelk (Westport), Dru Conway from Oyster Club (Mystic), Stephanie Lemire from Sayulita (Glastonbury), Michael McGarrity from On20 (Hartford) and Brian Smith from Millwight’s (Simsbury).

The Bartender of the Year finalists are Kin Hun Khoo from Arethusa al tavolo (Bantam), Dan Rek from Elm City Social (New Haven), MeKayla Roy from Zohara (West Hartford), Christine Short from Zaragoza (New Milford) and Michela Zurstadt from The Essex (Centerbrook, CT).

The Caterer of the Year finalists are Big Green Truck Pizza (New Haven), Craft Bird Food Truck (Hartford), Delicacy Catering (West Hartford), Elizabeth’s Café (Madison), Mercado (Wethersfield) and Pasta Vita (Old Saybrook).

The CRA Restaurant Newcomer award highlights the top restaurants that are less than two years old and the 2018 finalists include Grano Arso (Chester), Oko (Westport), Osa Restaurant (Middletown), Park & Oak Restaurant (West Hartford), Porron & Pina (Hartford) and Swyft (Kent).

The final category is the Restaurant of the Year and new for 2018, the CRA will recognize four different regional winners from throughout the state, as well as an overall winner. The North Region (Hartford & Tolland Counties) finalists are Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ (Windsor), Present Company (Simsbury), Shu Restaurant (West Hartford) and Zohara (West Hartford). The South Region (Middlesex & New Haven Counties) finalists are Bread & Water (Middletown), Bufalina (Guilford), Shell & Bones (New Haven) and Zinc (New Haven). The East Region (New London & Windham Counties) finalists are 85 Main (Putnam), Cafémantic (Willimantic), David Burke Prime (Mashantucket) and Oyster Club (Mystic). The South Region (Fairfield & Litchfield Counties) finalists are Arethusa al tavolo (Bantam), Elm (New Canaan), Kawa Ni (Westport) and The Restaurant at Winvian Farm (Morris).  

To submit a ballot, click here.

TooJay's 'Too+You'
TooJay's held its second annual “Too+You” campaign and raised $25,000 for Feeding Florida, a statewide network of Feeding America food banks providing a healthy, adequate and consistent food supply to those in need.

Throughout the month of September, $1 of every cake slice sold was donated to Feeding Florida. Guests also made donations by rounding up their checks throughout the month. Through the buying power of Feeding Florida, $1 provides 11 meals to those in need across the state. TooJay’s donation will fund more than 275,000 meals for food insecure families.

“We are pleased to partner with and support Feeding Florida as a part of our commitment to give back to the local communities where we do business,” said Max Piet, President and CEO of TooJay’s. “Thanks to the efforts of our team members and guests, we surpassed our fundraising goal for this amazing cause.”  TooJay’s team members across its 28 locations also got involved by collecting enough canned food to provide an additional 2,500 meals.

“Feeding Florida is grateful to the TooJay’s community for their role in the fight to end hunger in our communities." said Robin Safley, executive director of Feeding Florida. "This donation will allow us to continue to provide a healthy, adequate and consistent food supply to the 3.3 million Floridians facing hunger every day."

Founded in 1981, TooJay’s currently serves guests in Palm Beach and Broward counties, the Treasure Coast, the West Coast of Florida, the Orlando area, The Villages, and Polk County. Three new restaurants are expected to open in Naples, Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach during the first half of 2019.

Rescuing Food
Feeding America announced the national expansion of a pilot program to rescue food, in partnership with manufacturers and their carriers on the road. Each year, 40 percent of food in the United States goes to waste. This program, known as MealConnect Logistics, has already facilitated the donation of more than 580,000 pounds of food to the Feeding America network of food banks in the pilot phase. 

After partnering together for nearly four decades addressing hunger, Feeding America and General Mills joined forces last fall to get more meals to families in need. By recognizing there was food to be rescued within the delivery chain, the two organizations developed a smart solution to fight both food waste and hunger.

"This program is the definition of innovation," said Feeding America Chief Supply Chain Officer Blake Thompson. "We're rescuing food in an outside-the-box way and that means more meals on the plates of hungry Americans. Everybody wins."

In piloting the program, General Mills connected Feeding America with their carriers on the road. In complex supply chains, not every delivery to a grocery store, wholesaler or food service provider is flawless. Incorrect quantities or slightly damaged packages can result in a product that is commercially unsalable, but perfectly safe to consume. When a trucker finds oneself on the road with surplus food, his carrier company utilizes MealConnect to find the nearest food bank and quickly reroutes the driver to donate the surplus food. 

"We believe that good business means finding every opportunity possible to help communities in our daily processes," said Mary Jane (Melendez) Laird, Executive Director of the General Mills Foundation. "In MealConnect Logistics, we see the perfect opportunity to partner Feeding America's technology with our carriers and find a way to feed more hungry Americans."

MealConnect is a technology platform developed and established by Feeding America in 2014 that prevents perfectly good food from going to waste by directing it to Feeding America food banks in real-time. The program ensures that valuable food ends up with families in need, where it can be best used.

"Each year, we distribute more than 81 million meals to Minnesotans in need," said Rob Zeaske, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland. "This program means that we will be able to serve even more meals and connect more families with healthy, nutritious rescued food."

The program that began with one manufacturer will expand to manufacturers and their carriers, nationwide. Food banks around the country will benefit from the rescued food, immediately.

Read more: modernrestaurantmanagement.com
The official portraits by Kehinde Wiley (left) and Amy Sherald (right) (photo by Blair Murphy for Hyperallergic)
As the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery celebrates its 50th year, it has announced that in 2018, attendance has doubled at the DC museum.

In February, the Portrait Gallery unveiled its most recent additions to the Presidential Wing — President Barack Obama painted by Kehinde Wiley, and First Lady Michelle Obama painted by Amy Sherald. The massive portrai
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ts went viral (with a photo of an awestruck two-year-old Parker Curry warming hearts across the Internet over the power of representation), and attendance skyrocketed.

The museum served over two million visitors in its 2018 fiscal year (which ended September 30), doubling its annual average of 1.1 million patrons since 2013. In a press release from October 3, Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said 66 percent of attendees in 2018 were millennials or gen-X individuals.

On March 24 alone, the day of the March For Our Lives, 35,968 people visited the museum. Sajet told Hyperallergic attendance in the Presidential portrait gallery was so high the museum was forced to close off the space until it cleared before others could be let in.

This year, the National Portrait Gallery ranked as the third-most visited Smithsonian museum, just behind the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The museum is free, as are all DC-based Smithsonian institutions.

Kehinde Wiley, “Barack Obama,” 2018. Oil on canvas (© 2018 Kehinde Wiley, courtesy the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)
Amy Sherald, “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama,” 2018. Oil on linen. (photo courtesy the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)

The post Obama Portraits Double Annual Attendance at the National Portrait Gallery appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Read more: hyperallergic.com
Go to walmart.com to pick up a Mainstays Value Blanket for as low as $5.88 for a twin/twin XL bed! Full/queen size blankets are also available for the everyday low price of $8.88.

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The post Wa
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lmart.com: Mainstays Value Blanket, as Low as $5.88! appeared first on The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Read more: thekrazycouponlady.com

Retail has been used as something of a media punching bag over the past decade, with headlines frequently painting the massive shift from physical to digital as a death knell for the industry. The term “retail apocalypse,” for instance, is frequently thrown out, referring to the massive shrinking of physical storefronts across North America and how this bodes for the industry at large.

In reality, the situation facing retailers is far less daunting than an “apocalypse.” In fact, i
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t may actually offer brands greater opportunity in the future opposed to the death sentence many analysts have delivered.

In the latest report from Retail Systems Research (RSR) on The State of Online Commerce 2018, the “winners” and “losers” of the retail game were polled to see which channels they think bring the most value. By and large, the brands characterized as “winners” — those seeing steady or increased revenues from their products and services over the past year — put equal investment and faith behind both physical and digital channels for engagement, with an emphasis on success related to retail apps.

As the study — and almost every recent headline on retail — is quick to point out, much of the doom and gloom stems from the encroachment of Amazon into the larger retail conversation. But the actual threat posed by Amazon is largely being misinterpreted by brands in consumer retail. As a result, many of the “losers” in the RSR report are focusing on the wrong, outdated tactics to combat Amazon’s encroachment — price slashing, for instance — when they really need to be focused on enhancing their outreach — specifically through mobile engagement.

Misguided approach to critical business challenges

In the past, driving sales hinged on how much of a bargain one brand could deliver over the nearest competition. If you were one of a handful of retailers selling shoes at a mall, for instance, driving foot traffic hinged on spreading the word about bargains that beat the competition within relatively close physical proximity.

Needless to say, this doesn’t cut it in the digital age. Not only are the number of physical storefronts shrinking coast to coast — largely considered a course correction of inflated consumer confidence from the 80s and 90s, not a sign of brick-and-mortar’s death — but digital advertising is now where companies are placing most of their ad budget. Further to that, mobile is now the arena where most digital ad spend is allocated, with mobile set to represent 72 percent of all digital advertising by 2019.

Because physical proximity to the competition means very little on the “digital street,” mobile marketers need to do more than just slash prices to stay ahead of the competition — although location and proximity are still huge factors when it comes to mobile (more on that later).

Instead, companies that were ranked as winners by RSR had started shifting their focus (and their budget allocation) away from addressing price sensitivity and toward keeping pace with consumer-facing innovation — the top concern among winners polled. Ace among these innovations is enhancing mobile marketing via branded retail applications, which demonstrated a 54% jump in usage over the past year alone.

The best path to success — especially when it comes to competing with Amazon — is for brands to enrich their apps with tailored messaging while establishing a “lifestyle” associated with the app that brings value to a user’s day-to-day beyond supplying goods. While Amazon may be the modern day equivalent of the city-center department store, Victoria’s Secret, for instance, will still hold a greater cache among consumers of lingerie thanks to their long-established and personalized mobile experience.

Giving up on mobile before even trying it out

One of the most striking disparities among the winners and losers in the RSR report is how they view their greatest opportunities. Among the losers — 62 percent — the overarching attitude seems to be that because direct sales on digital are so small compared to physical channels, investing more in mobile is like throwing money out the window.

The winners in the report, however, understand that this is the wrong way to measure the success of mobile. Shopping is still a human behavior aided by technology, the report explains, where each touchpoint helps drive immediate and potential sales through greater engagement. That means that when brands invest more in developing their mobile strategies, this fuels sales across every channel, rather than prioritizing one over another.

For brands to reach that omnichannel future that’s been forecasted for so many years, they need to adopt the holistic picture of consumer engagement that 68 percent of the winners polled by RSR are actively developing over the next year.

Unfortunately, retailers of all stripes face an uphill battle in syncing their different channels up operationally, the report finds. But when brands take an analytical approach to how they reach out to customers — leveraging many of the useful insights derived by the treasure trove of user data Localytics can deploy for customers– tying disparate retail channels can be can be done intelligently.

Learn more about how retailers are winning and losing when it comes to mobile in our latest benchmark report.

Read more: feedproxy.google.com
This is a post by Alexandra Sheehan

We no longer need studies to tell us: Smartphones are almost everywhere. Most of the customers coming through your doors have a mobile device with them. And these devices aren’t always shoved in pockets or bags — shoppers are using them while they’re in store too.

So how can small and medium-sized retailers optimize for mobile? We’re talking more than simply making a mobile-responsive website — we’re ta
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lking about getting mobile users into your physical retail store and making them spend more money.

Let’s look at some ways how you can do that:

Have a “local” digital presence
Optimize your local business listings so it’s easy for mobile users to find you. While optimizing for mobile means engaging in-store shoppers on their devices, it also means finding potential customers outside of your store.

Moz reports that there are about seven billion unique local searches on Google every month, and almost 60% of searches happen on mobile devices, according to Hitwise.

Here’s where to make sure you’ll surface for the relevant searches in your area:

Google My Business (GMB)
Bing Places for Business
Yelp Business Page
Yahoo Local Basic Listings
Local directories and sites

Remember to always include your location, store hours, contact information and photos of the interior and exterior of your store. This will make it more appealing for shoppers to pay you a visit, and easier for them to find you when they do.

If you have an advertising budget, consider investing in Google’s local inventory ads (LIA). LIA lets you list your local inventory information online, so they show up as ads whenever shoppers search for products that you’re selling.

Above is a screenshot of LIA in action. When users click on your listing, “they arrive on a Google-hosted page for your store, called the local storefront. Shoppers use the local storefront to view in-store inventory, get store hours, find directions, and more.”

Further Reading

Need more tips on increasing your presence in your neighborhood to drive foot traffic? Check out the following post: Local Store Marketing: 6 Ideas to Boost Your Presence in the Neighborhood

Learn More

Mobile checkout
Retailers should always be on the lookout for ways to improve the checkout experience. And one of those ways ties in perfectly with our theme of mobile optimization: mobile pay.

Business Insider predicts a 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for mobile pay through 2020. And the MasterCard Digital Payments Study found that mobile wallets were cited in three-quarters of social media conversations about new ways to pay.

Many of today’s point-of-sale (POS) systems can accommodate mobile pay. You can integrate existing mobile checkout methods, like Google Pay, Apple Pay and even Venmo. Some retailers have also created their own mobile apps to allow customers to pay for orders from their phones.

The U.K.’s Harris + Hoole, a chain of coffee shops, drove 20% of orders with the launch of their mobile app. Customers could place and pay for in-store purchases on their phone.

WiFi marketing
WiFi marketing is when retailers and other businesses provide free wireless internet access to shoppers in exchange for some information, like an email opt-in or social engagement. This is good for customers because they have access to free internet, and it benefits retailers through audience-building and data collection.

WiFi marketing is much more popular among consumers than you might think: 96% of them prefer to shop at and return to stores that offer free WiFi, according to Cisco. And almost 60% of shoppers demand in-store WiFi, per Oracle.

In Perth, Australia, Waterford Plaza (a shopping mall) embarked on a project to provide free WiFi to all shoppers. They were able to increase data collection and customer profiles by 450%, learning that the average shopper would spend $0.75 for every minute spent at the mall. They were able to use these insights to implement personalization and increase dwell time.

Augmented and virtual reality
While augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) may still sound pie-in-the-sky to you (nearly two-thirds of companies don’t use AR at all, per Tech Pro Research), consumers are expecting retailers to step up to the plate and implement these technologies into the brand experience. Almost 70% of consumers expect retailers to launch an AR app within the next six months, according to DigitalBridge.

AR and VR offer ways to connect with your mobile-savvy shoppers and enhance the in-store experience. Plus, it could mean that you can charge more for your merchandise: 40% of consumers would willingly pay higher prices if they can experience products through AR, reports Retail Perceptions.

Be active on social media
Facebook’s How Mobile-First Connections Drive Local Business report had a few key learnings about how mobile shoppers engage with local businesses on social media:

More than 1.6 billion people are connected to a small business on Facebook.
About 66% of connected Facebook users visit a local business or event page at least weekly.
80% of consumers use mobile devices to connect with local businesses, and 45% use them to learn more about a business.
Two-thirds of shoppers use mobile devices to find out about and engage with local events.
Shoppers who use mobile phones as their primary device are 1.37 times more likely to find out about pop-up shops and local events on Facebook.
Nearly half of businesses have started to optimizing marketing for mobile, and 40% believe this will continue to be important in the future.

The takeaways:

If you’re hosting an event, create a Facebook event page and use a geo-targeted paid ad campaign to drive interest.
Make sure your profiles are optimized to share more information about your business.
Add your retail store location to your Facebook page. If you have more than one store, use Facebook Locations to manage and promote all of them.

Proximity marketing
Proximity marketing is an in-store tactic that uses beacons and other Bluetooth-enabled devices to connect to and engage with customers’ on compatible mobile phones. It’s technology that’s been around for a fair amount of time, and it’s continuing to grow. It was estimated to be worth more than $170 million in 2016 with a compound annual growth rate of more than 80% through 2024, according to a Global Market Insights report.

Use beacons to send promotions to customers while they’re in your store, share important updates or even incorporate gamification to make the shopping experience more memorable.

Partner with shopping and ordering apps
One way to enter the mobile arena and gain access to built-in support is by partnering with a mobile app provider. Coupons, customer loyalty programs and online ordering are just a few features to consider that can help you capture mobile customers.

For example, RetailMeNot has a great mobile app that lets consumers easily find coupons. If you’re running an offer, you can tap into those mobile users (as well as those browsing online) by submitting your coupons or partnering with the RetailMeNot team.

There’s also a huge market when it comes to mobile ordering. If you’re looking to let your customers place orders using their smartphone, you can team up with apps such as Postmates, Curbside, and the like.

That’s what Grain & Vine, a boutique wine and spirits store does to drive more sales.  In addition to selling in-store and online, Grain & Vine also offers same-day delivery through apps such as Postmates, Minibar, and Drizly. They do this by tightly integrating their POS system (Vend), payments processor (Square), ecommerce store (Shopify), and mobile ordering services, so data flows smoothly from one platform to the next.

In other words, their systems can “talk” to each other and share data in real-time, so when orders come in, Grain & Vine’s inventory is synced across its physical and digital stores. As for the different delivery applications, Grain & Vine owner Michael Nagdimunov says they use an XML file to sync their inventory with the apps.

“We’ve created an XML file that constantly pings our Shopify platform for inventory updates. And because Shopify and Vend integrate almost natively, both inventories are always in sync. Those XML files are then being sent to our providers and they, in turn, have constant access to updated inventory. That way, we’re never in a situation where they sell something we don’t carry.”

If you’re going to implement multi-channel ordering, take a leaf out of Grain & Vine’s playbook, and choose platforms with tight integrations. To make things easier, go for solutions with existing integrations, so you won’t have to develop one yourself.

Arm your business with the right mobile solution
Going mobile isn’t just about marketing and customer engagement. Part of having a winning mobile strategy is arming yourself and your team with the technology that can save time, maximize productivity, and enhance the customer experience.

Think about the following:

Point of sale – Would your business benefit from a mobile point of sale solution? Mobile POS systems are particularly helpful if you limited space in your shop. They’re highly portable and enable you to serve customers from anywhere in the store.

mPOS solutions during peak hours when you’re dealing with long lines and need to either quickly open new registers or have associates ring up sales while shoppers are still in line.

Retail management – Having a mobile-friendly retail management system will allow you to check — or even run — your store from anywhere. Imagine being able to view real-time sales, check stock levels, and place orders right from your device. Having such capabilities means you don’t have to be in your shop to know what’s going in your business — which is a godsend especially if you’re constantly on the go or are running multiple stores.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out Vend’s guide to increasing sales. This handy resource offers 10 proven tactics for boosting retail sales and improving your bottom line.

Specifically, you will:

Discover how to turn savvy shoppers into loyal customers
Learn how to add real and perceived value to each sale
Discover the most effective ways to set yourself apart from your competitors

Learn More

Over to you
In what ways have you optimized your in-person and digital presence for the mobile shopper? How has it helped your business?

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The post Crafting Your Mobile Strategy: How Retailers Can Go Mobile and Increase Sales appeared first on Vend Retail Blog.

Read more: blog.vendhq.com
What to know about email header and footer design
Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your subscribers, engage readers and improve conversion rates. Often, the first thing that comes to mind is the bulk of the email (the body), but there are other crucial parts to a successful email. Let’s dive in, head first.

Starting off strong
What is an email header?
It’s the first thing people see when they open up your email. And, as with a date or a job interview, your header hopefull
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y makes a good first impression. Good or bad, a header sets the tone for the rest of your email’s communication with your customers. 

Things a good email header does: 

Identifies your brand: Recipients have a clear idea who sent the email, and the header matches the “from” field in the email
Simplifies information: A header is short and sweet for easy scanning and to get maximum attention
Applies across campaigns: It works with many email campaigns and can be used across them for consistency

Email header design elements to include:

Logo/business name: Besides reinforcing who the email is from, it improves brand retention; the more places your logo appears, the better. 
“View in browser”: This is a link that allows people to see your email if it’s not showing up correctly in the application. 
Navigation: While up to your discretion, navigation can help if you’re an e-commerce site and want people to explore promotions.
Images: Eye-catching images at the top can grab a reader’s attention; Keep in mind that if you want to have a versatile header, you’ll have to be careful that the image is one that can be used across email campaigns.
Preview: A preview line — like a second chance at the subject line — helps set expectations.
Links: Anything that can help users reach relevant pages or promotions easily.

Design tips: 

Make the header short: It shouldn’t take up the whole screen because you want readers to be able to see some of the body of the email as well.
Keep it simple: It should be easy for readers to focus on the intended message of the email.
Mix and match: Feel free to try different designs, but once you find one you like, remember that consistency is a good thing. Let your brand form an image for readers so they know what to expect from your emails.
Don’t forget your newsletter: These tips can be applied to a newsletter header as well.

Email header example:

Ending with impact
What is an email footer? 
It’s the last thing people see on your email, so essentially it’s your the last chance to provide value to your readers. Like the walk home on a date or the open questions at the end of the interview, you want to have something thoughtful to say to keep readers interested in learning more when the email is reaching the end. 

Things a good footer provides: 

Clarity: It’s easy to read, not full of unrelated information or complicated words.
Transparency: Readers understand what they’re being shown and why (think terms and conditions when they engage with a promotion).
Assurance: Puts people at ease because they have next steps and resources to go on their way.

Email footer design elements:

Contact info: Make it easy for people to find your website and physical address, and how to email or call should they require further information or help. 
Additional resources: Links to social media, articles or products that pair well with your email subject. 
Fine print: Put things like promotion details, copyright and links to your privacy policy. 
Unsubscribe button: This should always be visible and in accordance with CAN-SPAM and GDPR legislation.
Links: Consider providing links to user profiles, a way for readers to sign up and an option to view the email in a browser

Design tips:

Minimalism: What makes the most sense to give readers at this point? If you’re telling them about an in-store event, maybe you don’t need to include articles or detailed terms and conditions.
Chronology: Put the information in order based on what’s the most important to your email and what you want recipients to see or take action on.
Color: Use a background color or padding for the footer so that it’s easy to tell that it’s separate from the body content.
Light text: They’ve already read your email and may need just a bit more to take action, so don’t surprise them with text-heavy paragraphs. Instead, take a look at what information you need to include and whether any additional links or copy would be useful.

Email footer example:

When you’re building your next email campaign and trying to get the design just right, go beyond the body copy and take note of what’s happening above and below. Start and stop your emails simply, leaving your customers feeling informed, satisfied and, most of all, interested. 

Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.

© 2018, Lindsey Bakken. All rights reserved.

The post Design effective emails from head(er) to foot(er) appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Read more: verticalresponse.com