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LinkedIn Shares InMail Best Practices to Help Maximize Your Response Rates

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LinkedIn Shares InMail Best Practices to Help Maximize Your Response Rates

Looking to make use of LinkedIn InMail as part of your marketing outreach?

If so, you need to read this – the team from email marketing platform Lavender recently analyzed 28.3 million emails to glean more insight into the key trends and message traits that can help to maximize your LinkedIn outreach success.

Again, if you’re looking to use InMail (yes, I realize LinkedIn has moved away from calling it ‘InMail’ in recent times, but it’s still a specific indicator of LinkedIn messages), then it’s worth taking note of these five analytics notes, which could help to boost your response rates.

First off, the analysis suggests that shorter is better in LinkedIn messaging outreach:

As per Lavender:

Emails that are 25-50 words get 65% more replies than the usual 125-word cold email.

Basically, people don’t have time to read a novella to understand your sales pitch – get to the point and give people a chance to quickly assess, as opposed to asking for too much time commitment up front to go through the intricacies of your message.

Worth noting too that, similarly, LinkedIn has previously reported that InMails under 400 characters perform best:

LinkedIn InMail study

Fewer words, less time commitment = better response. Worth considering in your process.

Next – simplify your language:

“70% of emails are written at or beyond a 10th grade reading level. If you take that 10th grade writing and bring it to a 5th grade reading level, you’ll see 50% more replies.

LinkedIn InMail best practices

Sure, you might sound smarter by using more verbose language (and I do realize the irony of using a term like ‘verbose’ in this context). But if people need to refer to Thesaurus.com just to understand what the heck it is that you’re saying, again, you’re asking them to commit more time than they’re likely going to on a cold pitch.

Yes, storytelling has been a key element of every content marketer’s slideshow presentation for the last decade, and there is value to sharing the ‘why’ of your business. But you also need to be wary of your audience at each turn, and for each element of your communication.

Your email outreach doesn’t need to explain your entire brand story, no matter how great you think it is.

Next up: Personalization.

LinkedIn InMail best practices

Now, how you specifically measure personalization in this context is subjective, but the concept is that the more you can create messages intended for each specific reader, the more likely they’ll be to open and read what you have to say.

When you’re approaching someone on LinkedIn, the need for personalization only magnifies […] If you frame everything in your message to be focused on them, it is more likely to catch your reader’s interest.”

That can be hard to scale, but the idea holds true across the board – the more you can spell out why this message is specifically relevant to each reader, the more success you’ll ultimately see.

This is where audience segmentation is important. The person who just bought a pair of sunglasses from your business is probably not in the market for another set for a little while, but they may be interested in protective and care elements, or, of course, your other products. By segmenting your audiences, and continually refreshing which outreach list they’re on, you can improve response rates.

This is just one example of how to better personalize at scale.

The next key element is the tone of the language that you use – and specifically, the need to avoid trying to ‘educate’ the buyer.

LinkedIn InMail best practices

The analysis suggests that you should avoid talking about yourself, or even your brand, and instead try to invite engagement based on your offering.

Prospective customers don’t want to be talked at. They want to be talked with. Instead of using an informative tone, try to create a more tentative, unassuming, or unsure, tone.

Asking questions like: “if that sounds right, then let’s connect” can be one way to invite engagement, and align with the readers’ thinking, as opposed to trying to tell them why they need to listen.

Finally, Lavender’s analysis suggests that, once you do get a reply, asking even more questions, and inviting further personalization and engagement, can be key.

LinkedIn InMail best practices

This, again, leans into the concept that people want to be heard, not pitched to, and the more you are hearing them, and tuning into their questions, the better you can enhance that relationship, and improve connection, which will make them more likely to buy.

Conversion won’t always happen, of course, no matter how clever your outreach flow is, but these data-backed pointers provide some solid notes on how to speak to people, not at them, and how that can then invite more engagement with your brand messaging.

Worth considering in your LinkedIn outreach – and with LinkedIn just recently launching a new ‘Other’ folder in your inbox, where junk emails will go to die, you need to consider how you can maximize engagement, and keep yourself in the main InMail feed, in order to maintain connection with prospects.

You can read Lavender’s full analysis report here.

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Josh Brolin Summarizes Dune 2 in Greatest Instagram Caption of All Time

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Josh Brolin Summarizes Dune 2 in Greatest Instagram Caption of All Time

The Dune: Part Two star took a unique approach to marketing the movie. Dune: Part Two is so close to hitting theaters, and no one is more excited than …

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Reddit’s Exclusive Data Sharing Deal with an Unnamed AI Company Could Mark a Key Industry Shift

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Reddit’s Exclusive Data Sharing Deal with an Unnamed AI Company Could Mark a Key Industry Shift

Is Reddit’s actually data worth $60 million per year?

That’s reportedly how much an as-yet-unnamed AI development company has paid to gain exclusive access to Reddit’s full data set, which will see said AI company incorporate Reddit user responses into its large language model (LLM), with a view to the system providing more human-like answers and insight, and becoming a bigger challenger in online search.

As reported by Bloomberg, after working to restrict access to its data over the last year, in order to stop AI companies from profiting off its content, Reddit has now signed an exclusive contract with “an unnamed large AI company”, which will see that company integrate Reddit insights into its models.

Which is a high price tag, considering that the top tier of X’s API access (200 million posts per month) costs around $2.5 million per year.

So could Reddit’s data be worth significantly more than that, and if it is, does it then make sense for Reddit to provide such on an exclusive basis?

The value of Reddit data is that it provides actual, human usage insight, which can often be of more value than online reviews that can be gamed and skewed by paid responses. That’s getting even worse in the age of generative AI, with some companies now employing AI tools to create human-sounding reviews online, in order to boost their product ratings.

As a result, more and more people have been turning to Reddit to get honest product reviews and performance insight. They’re still using Google, but more people are using the “site:reddit.com” qualifier to glean more specific insights from Reddit communities.

For example, if you were looking for a new hair dryer, you can look up “best hair dryer” on Google to get this:

Or you can add “best hair dryer site:reddit.com” for this:

Google example

The Reddit forum links connect through to actual people’s experiences, and include solid, functional insight from those who’ve used each device. The Reddit responses are also up and downvoted, making it easier to find the best response to guide your search process.

The more specific, personal insight can add significant value to the answers provided, and many people have found that this is now a better, more valuable discovery process than trusting Google results within themselves.

And now, one AI company will get all of this insight exclusively to itself.

That could be a big boost to its business ambitions, with a view to making AI chatbots more of a rival for traditional search behavior. Already, more people are turning to conversational chatbots for online discovery, and with this, whichever LLM can access Reddit data will have an exclusive trove of valuable consumer insights, which it can repackage within its responses.

For example, using the same hair dryer prompt in ChatGPT, the system currently gives me a listing of technical considerations and recommendations based on top sellers. But with added Reddit commentary, it could also provide a more personalized addendum:

“According to users, the best hair dryer for curly hair is the Ella Bella Ionic hair dryer, while those with straight hair tend to prefer the Dyson Supersonic.”

The system could then provide more specific answers based on your requirements, by sourcing that info from subreddit communities.

It’s a significant value-add, which will make whichever company gets this info a far more viable option as a search consideration, though the $60 million per year ongoing price tag is high, and is also at least somewhat reliant on Reddit continuing to grow, in order to maximize its value and utility.

And Reddit is growing. Reddit’s added 20 million more users over the past three years, and it continues to see strong engagement in over 100,000 active communities. The company’s been working to highlight its business value, ahead of a planned IPO, which could come next month, and this deal will now be factored into the valuation of the platform moving forward.

In some ways, it’s possible that Reddit could be limiting its opportunities by signing an exclusive data contract. But that’s why the price tag is so high, and it’ll be interesting to see which chatbot comes out with “Reddit exclusive insights” as a value add sometime soon.

I mean, it seems likely that it’ll be OpenAI, with the backing of Microsoft, as it looks to take on Google’s Search dominance. With the rise of conversational searches, that does seem like a logical investment, and with another data source taken out of the mix, that could also lead to more differentiation in the market.

It could also point to similar exclusivity deals in future, as each company tries to differentiate and dominate with their chatbot tools. Current AI chatbots have been able to scrape vast amounts of data from across the web, which means that their initial models will all be relatively similar as a result, but in future, as information evolves, and new data is required to match search intent, fresh sources will also be required to maintain relevance, and audience interest.

Meta claims to have an advantage in this respect, because it has all of the insights published to Facebook and Instagram to work with, while Elon Musk will view xAI as holding a lead, due to his platform being the leading real-time news discussion app.

But maybe, considering broader trends, Reddit insight is actually the real leader in terms of refining search queries.

And maybe, that will prove to be more important than most think.  



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EU launches probe into TikTok over child protection

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The European Commission said it launched formal infringement proceedings against TikTok over the protection of minors online

The European Commission said it launched formal infringement proceedings against TikTok over the protection of minors online – Copyright AFP KARIM JAAFAR

Raziye Akkoc

The EU on Monday announced a formal investigation into TikTok over alleged breaches of its obligations to protect minors online, under a landmark new law on policing digital content.

It is the second probe into a major online platform since Brussels introduced the Digital Services Act (DSA), after targeting tech billionaire Elon Musk’s X in December.

Brussels is particularly concerned that the video-sharing app owned by China’s ByteDance may not be doing enough to address negative impacts on young people.

A key worry is the so-called “rabbit hole” effect — which occurs when users are fed related content based on an algorithm, in some cases leading to more dangerous content.

The European Commission’s concerns also include TikTok’s age verification tools, which it said “may not be reasonable, proportionate and effective”.

The commission opened “formal proceedings to assess whether TikTok may have breached” the DSA in other areas including “advertising transparency” and “data access for researchers”.

The action comes after analysing a risk assessment report by TikTok and its replies to Brussels’ requests for more information about what measures the video-sharing platform has taken against illegal content, the protection of minors and access to data.

– ‘Spare no effort’ –

Regulators will continue to gather evidence, the commission said, adding that the move empowered it to take further enforcement steps if necessary.

“As a platform that reaches millions of children and teenagers, TikTok must fully comply with the DSA and has a particular role to play in the protection of minors online,” said the EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton.

“We are launching this formal infringement proceeding today to ensure that proportionate action is taken to protect the physical and emotional well-being of young Europeans. We must spare no effort to protect our children,” Breton added.

TikTok has over 142 million monthly users across the EU, up from 125 million last year.

“TikTok needs to take a close look at the services they offer and carefully consider the risks that they pose to their users — young as well as old,” commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager said.

The formal probe will focus on four areas: how TikTok assesses and mitigates systemic risks; how the company is complying with protecting minors’ privacy and safety; TikTok’s measures on providing a “reliable” advertisement repository and the steps taken to increase transparency.

TikTok said it was working to protect minors online.

“TikTok has pioneered features and settings to protect teens and keep under 13s off the platform, issues the whole industry is grappling with,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

“We’ll continue to work with experts and industry to keep young people on TikTok safe, and look forward to now having the opportunity to explain this work in detail to the Commission.”

– Risk of fines –

There is no deadline for the completion of the proceedings.

The DSA gives Brussels the power to levy heavy fines, with penalties for violations that can include fines going up to six percent of a digital firm’s global revenues.

The commission can even block platforms in the 27-nation bloc for serious and repeated violations.

The EU law came into effect last year for the world’s biggest online platforms including TikTok and X as well as Facebook and Instagram.

The new rules demand companies do more to police content online, but also expect digital retailers to act swiftly and effectively to protect shoppers online.

The DSA law has applied to all platforms since February 17.

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