Weekly Roundup #47 – AI Messaging, SEO Copy, & Google’s Mobile Index

Last week we discussed with you email pre-headers, AMP and home page carousels, so if you missed it then go check it out.  This week we’ll be letting you in on the latest digital marketing news, showing you successful email drip campaigns and giving you some decent tips on writing copy for SEO. Enjoy!


eTailers: What Google’s Latest Mobile Index Means for You

google analytics tools

Source: Google

Along with the fact that Google mobile search is displaying images in search results, it has been announced that they’re updating their mobile search index to crawl mobile websites in order to determine relevancy. Currently, it still looks at the desktop versions of the page to evaluate its relevancy to the user on smartphone search results, the search engine says. This is an issue if the mobile site has less content on it than the desktop, Doantam Phan wrote on the official blog.

So, for example, if a shopper was to look for “brown wedge sandals” on a smartphone, Google’s results will likely show her websites that will render properly on a smartphone and have brown wedge sandals somewhere on the desktop site even if the retailer doesn’t have it listed on its mobile one. With the change, Google is less likely to show the mobile version of that retailer’s site in smartphone search results according to Brian Klais, founder and president of mobile marketing mobile search engine optimisation firm Pure Oxygen Labs.

“Google basically treated your mobile page as an alternate version of the same content,” Klais says. “The problem is, when shoppers search for a certain product feature or keywords and click on your mobile page from Google but can’t find that phrase on the page, they get frustrated at Google for showing irrelevant listings.”

So what do you need to know?


– The change will impact e-retailers that have a separate mobile site, often referred to as an “m.” site

– Retailers that use responsive design or dynamic serving (another form of responsive design also referred to as adaptive or hybrid design_ shouldn’t have to make any changes

– Retailers that do have a separate mobile site should use the Google-recommended mobile search engine optimisation mark up in its code – this will help the Google-bot understand that the mobile site has different content than the desktop site.

– Google will experiment with the change on a small scale in the coming months and gradually increase how many searchers will see the updated results.

– If a retailer only has a desktop site, Google will still index it on smartphone search results.



Digital Marketing News

IBM Buys an AI-Powered Personal Shopper from Digital Agency Fluid

eRetailers The North Face have purchased Fluid’s Expert Personal Shopper, also known as XPS. They purchased the Expert Personal Shopper or XPS division of digital agency Fluid Inc. It’s a web-based service that enables consumers to ask questions and get recommendations and answers from a computer system that learns and perfects its responses over time. A purchase price has not yet been announced.

XPS is already powered by IBM Watson’s machine learning technology. It’s a computer that builds upon advances in artificial intelligence so that it can engage in quality dialogue with people, learning over time how to improve its answers. Retailers like Macy’s Corp. are using Watson technology in various way to grow their sales. The North Face which is owned by VF Corp. and 1-800-Flowers.com use XPS and both of those retailers will become IBM clients with the acquisition say IBM.

IBM invested in the technology in 2014 as part of a larger pool of $100million in funding earmarked for direct investment in technology using Watson. The product and several members of the XPS team will become part of IBM iX, or the IBM Interactive Experience team. Paul Papas, global leader at IBM IX said,


“We look to incorporate the Expert Personal Shopper platform into the customer engagement and commerce solutions that we create for our retail clients… In addition to retail, we believe XPS can be leveraged and applied to the digital properties for brands across a variety of industries.”


Macy’s began testing Watson technology earlier this year in its mobile site on the macys.com/storehelp page. Consumers in Macy’s stores could submit questions about locations of products, services regarding the store they’re in and brands or facilities. Shoppers quickly receive a response and can chat some more if they need extra information.



Email Marketing

3 Lessons from Top Performing Drip Email Campaigns


drip email campaign

Source: Rock & Roll Marathon Series


Rock & Roll Marathon Series

The Rock & Roll Marathon Series now stretches out across major US and European cities. They now feature over 30,000 attendees running urban courses with DJs, bands and more every mile or two of the half and full marathon routes. Anyone who has run an event can let you know that they heavily rely on early sign-ups and repurchases from past happy attendees, to help forecast and make up for the fact that most will wait until the last second (and they’ve already paid money to organise everything upfront).

So segmentation should be built on two features:

By Location

By Event

The email displayed above pulls in the event and location details to hook and inspire those who just complete that specific event in that specific city to repurchase. Receiving these over a succession of months with the urgency-based price awareness is like a war of attrition that gradually snags more and more signees.

Expedia’s Recent Booking Abandonment

Time to get a little more sophisticated. A hotel booking process isn’t much different to the eCommerce checkout one. But it’s harder. While 67% of eCommerce people might abandon a cart, 81% of people abandon a hotel or travel booking. If a user is logged in, you can track and react.


drip email campaign


Expedia sends out behavioural, event-based messages shortly after searching for hotels in specific locations. This first example pulls in the specific city name in the subject line of the email, while the body copy tends to be a bit more generic, focussing on the upsell of booking an entire package instead of just selecting a hotel.


drip email campaign


The second email has a subject line that’s almost an exact carbon copy of the first – along with personalised city name, but this time the second features a customised message that personalises three things: the headline, the body copy and the CTA. This campaign successfully executes on message match (aligning what a user was just thinking about and doing on your site with the subject line and the email content.)


Ramit’s Warm-Up to Pre-Sell

There’s one key lesson to learn from other marketers – ignore what they say and watch what they do. Some of the best still pull off a sleight-of-a-hand, distracting you with one thing over here while they’re really laying the groundwork for something more powerful elsewhere. There’s no better example of this than Ramit Sethi.

Subscribe to his newsletter and you’ll get tons (and tons) of text-based emails that do everything from grab attention, to trust building, to engagement. You’ll first be pre-segmented based on what offer or where on the site you opted in. Then you’ll receive a mix of content that switches from the regular ongoing stuff to the more choreographed sales efforts. You can typically see these coming with an anticipation-inducing “Day 1/X” in the subject line. The copy itself lays down social proof (like number of emails, comments etc) before closing with a specific CTA to get the reader from passive to active.

Here’s an example:


drip email campaign


It starts out slow but watch how they build up over the course of a few days and a few weeks for larger ones, increasing in frequency by as much as 2-3 emails per day and altering the message based on if you don’t response, open or click. Ramit seamlessly transitions from focusing on pain points and problems to eventually providing a solution. They should help you not only rethink your email strategy but your content marketing efforts too.



Social Media

Facebook Expands the Reach of Its Ads

facebook ad audience

Facebook is now running a test in which it delivers video ads on apps that run on set-top boxes like apple TV through Facebook’s ad network, as well as allowing retailers to pay to promote their Messenger chat bot in users’ news feeds. With Facebook’s share of the digital advertising skyrocketing this really comes as no surprise.

The social network tests and delivers video ads through the rapidly growing ad network it calls Audience Network. Facebook has also begun allowing retailers and other advertisers to pay to promote messenger – one of Facebook’s messaging apps. A chat bot is interactive software that uses AI to simulate human conversation. With this test, Facebook is delivering ads to consumers who watch videos on a few publishers’ apps.

A spokesman said;


“We are testing how to best deliver video ads through Audience Network to people watching content on connected TVs, our goal is to bring relevant ad experiences to people both on Facebook and off.”


In expanding Audience Network to “over the top” video apps, it’s taking a significant step to expand the platform’s reach. It currently delivers ads to publishers’ apps and website on desktop browsers and mobile devices. The development of Messenger builds on Facebook’s Messenger Platform c1.2 update that enabled a small test group to create news feed ads that drive a consumer to open Messenger when the user clicks on the CTA, like “Shop Now” or “Learn More”.

Mikhail Larionov, Facebook technical league said “Early adopters have used these news feed ads to open conversations in Messenger in order to raise awareness of their brand campaigns and increase sales.” He continues to talk about the sponsored messaging features added to businesses who use the Send/Receive application program interface: “Sponsored messages give businesses the ability to send targeted updates, information about promotions, reminders and other relevant messages,” Larionov writes. “The value that people get from 1:1 conversations with the businesses they care about is extended by this ability to consistently engage through customised experiences.”



10 Tips for Copy Writing for SEO

SEO gets harder and harder every day, let’s face it. But writing some hardcore copy is your best bet, so we’ve decided to assemble 10 top tips for writing copy for SEO. Enjoy!

1. Craft Magnetic Headlines – An irresistible headline gets your article read and sets the tone for your content. Throw some effective SEO into the mix and your content ranks. Need help doing that? Then head on over to Quick Sprout to learn how to make better content.

2. Choose a Good Font – The right font and font size can make your copy easier to read and more visually interesting, in turn increasing engagement. This is why blog writers and copywriters pay so much attention to copy cosmetics. Some fonts are also more web-safe than others. Go find out what works best for what you’re up to.

3. Write More Content – Does longer content rank better in search? Yes. Studies by serpiq, seomox and quicksprout prove that. Posts longer than 1,500 words enable you to provide the most value to your readers which helps you establish expertise and authority.

4. Shorten Paragraphs – Even though longer articles will outperform the shorter ones, longer paragraphs do not. Chunky blocks of text intimidate readers so keep your paragraphs pretty short, about 2-4 sentences.

5. Power Up Your Words – A good copywriter knows all about the importance of using power words during their content creation – words that evoke emotion. Once you hit on emotional chords, you influence and connect with the reader. Plus, they tend to compliment keywords nicely.

6. Get Voice Active – Content writers all seem to agree that using a passive voice is one of the several deadly copywriting sins, so make sure your copy doesn’t get diluted and wordy by doing that. Active voice, on the other hand is crisp, direct, and energetic – which makes for persuasive writing.

7. Keyword Density is a tireless SEO Myth – While it’s important to include strong keywords in your content, there is nothing indicating that search engines favour a particular keyword density – and who wants to read that kind of repetition anyway?

8. Talk Your Reader’s Language – With blog writing, most of all, it’s important to adopt a conversational tone, so use phrases and words that resonate with your audience. As your readership grows, search engines will notice as well.

9. Keep It Fresh – Yeah, you’re gonna wanna keep it fresh. Updating your content regularly is crucial for search engines and readers. Search engines tend to favour posts that are more recent and relevant because that’s what users want most. Keep your info accurate and up-to-date.

10. Cover Trending Topics – Covering industry news and hot topics is an excellent way to get to the top if the search engine’s results page fast. Everybody wants to know the latest and greatest. Stay relevant.



We churn these out weekly. Subscribe to keep updated.


Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.