Category: eMarketing

25 Things To Test in eMail Marketing

25 Things To Test in eMail Marketing

In our last post, we looked at the 11 things you should pay the most attention to when creating a marketing email to get the best engagement. This was based on a survey of market experts asking them what gave them the results.

 

At the end of the article, we talked about testing and measuring email engagement by using some of the mail management systems that provide analytic reporting. With the testing, we indicated that you can change your email and run a test to see which one version gave you more engagement. This is known as A/B testing.

 

Improving engagement with your eMail Marketing

Because of the high engagement and key benefit of internet marketing using email, you followed our advice and have sent out your email. But you have decided that after a while you want to try and improve engagement. But you are not sure which parts to change and which one will give you the most traction. For example, when we said it is important to focus on the content of the email we did not point out specific elements.

 

So another survey was conducted and this time they were asked when changing an email to get better engagement what can you change from most important to least important. This list breaks that down for you.

Best practice is to just change one element at a time, to understand the impact it has on engagement. Fortunately, you do not need to start with a blank canvas as most of the email management system offers you templates that you populate with your own content. Most of these templates are based on email formats that has proved to create good engagement. But it is still worth taking the time, with little changes to develop a format that works best for your customers, products and services.

 

eMail Marketing Segmentation

 

When you start to get engagement statistics back from the email management system, you can also begin to segment your customers based on their email engagement behaviour. With segmentation, you can have several email formats or send at specific times. Versions may include one version for those who like red buttons, a group for morning emails and one for the afternoon or long emails for those who like long copy instead of short copy.

 

eMail Marketing A/B Test List

 

Let us work our way through the list:

  • Subject Line – Still at the top of the list. It was number one in the first survey and is again, so it shows how important this is. You need this catch the attention of the person you are sending to, otherwise, you end up being deleted
  • From Name – An email from a company or brand that your customer recognises is more likely to be opened, than from one that looks like a machine sent it
  • Day of Week – What day do customers like to receive emails. There is no hard and fast rule here. If you are selling a business solution then work hour email may be better. Or at the beginning of the week so you get onto their to-do list. With email management systems you can see who opened the email and maybe do a follow-up email two days later.
  • Time of Day – With all the emails your customers receive in a day when are they most likely to open yours. Do you want to be part of the morning email engagement, maybe send to the just before lunch or about the time they are sitting down for the evening and have more time on their hands?
  • Frequency – How often do you send emails. Too much and they start looking at your emails as spam and delete immediately or unsubscribe. Watch your analytics for signs that you are sending too often. The frequency may be based on sales funnel that introduces them to the concept and brand over a period of weeks, then hits them with the buy now email. Some companies are getting a lot of value from post-purchase emails to create return customers or social media engagement. Some are targeting those who did not open their email as a sign that they did not have time, so they send it again the following day. Keep an eye on the analytics.
  • Mostly Image vs Mostly Text – Images tell a strong story if they match what you want to communicate. If you have powerful images that communicate your value then use them, as studies show that email with images get more engagement. If you have a complex product then maybe text is your better option for communicating the value. Based on what you are selling, what do customer expect images or text
  • Short Copy vs Long Copy – Does your product need a long explanation. Do you need to introduce the concept or brand before you make a call to action? Too long can have customers exiting before they get to the “call to action”. To short and you don’t capture them enough to make the commitment to buy. Consider using images to quickly communicate concepts and ideas so you don’t have to explain them in the text. Do you have an emotion sell or a factual sell
  • Links vs Button – Call to action buttons or text. Do your customers like a button more. What colour, what size, what text, what font
  • Number of Links – Too many choices can be distracting, so reduce the calls to action and give them one choice. Or do you offer them options as part of what you sell? If you give them a link to your website they may go there, where the front page does not have the information or a call to action. Social links can provide social proof, but also take them away from your story
  • Unsubscribe at the top – Those who do not want your email can opt out quickly. You will end up with a quality email list. Or will they unsubscribe before you can promote the value of what you are selling
  • First name personalisation in the subject line – Explains itself. Who wants to be another number on the machine. They feel like you know them and this email has meaning.
  • First name personalisation in the email body – Same as above
  • Animated gif – Creating a visual movement to attract the eye. Studies have shown that people read in an F. Top lie heading, skim the text, skip to the next heading, skim the text. Or add movement and disrupt that flow
  • Font colour – What colour do they prefer
  • Font Style – Readability and emotional response to fonts is more powerful than most people think
  • Opt down – Let your customer tell you what they prefer by choosing their own options. Only send me emails once a week instead of every day. Choose the topic they prefer.
  • Social sharing icons – Social engagement and ratings can influence customers perceptions. If you need proof this can be delivered via social media.
  • Social connecting icons – If they connect to you or follow you in social  media, posts you make can show on their feed, creating recognition and brand awareness
  • Delivery by zone – Segmentation by zone with different messages working better in different areas, or delivering to different time zones so it arrives at the right time of the day
  • Call to action number – How often in your email do you ask the customer to act. Some email tries to get the customer to act after every benefit, while others wait until they have absorbed the whole story. Do you have one call to action or several different types
  • Call to action placement – Just once at the end or after every key benefit
  • Post click landing page – Where do you send them when they click. Does it continue your message and theme? Do not send them to the front page of your website if it does not move the sale forward and have a call to action. You got them this far with your email, so keep them engaged
  • Social proof – Have others purchased this product and did it deliver on the promises. I do not want to be the first. Has it helped someone with the same issues I have? If you have Complex or expensive products maybe you need an emotional sell with some proof
  • Tone human vs corporate – Write to your target audience. Use the words and types of language they are comfortable with
  • Copy length – How many times do you need to sell your value proposition before you get the engagement you want. Copy length can get long when you add in all the benefits, images, calls to action, social proof. It may be better to get them to a web page to continue your story other than telling it all in the email

 

So there we have it. 25 things you can change in your emails to improve engagement. Remember to change, test and measure.

 

This is not a one time exercise. If you have a good email campaign that gets good engagement then repeat it. But keep measuring, because perceptions change over time and you will need to alter your messages to address these changes. If a market is being saturated with similar products and offerings it may time to change your pitch.

 

Good selling

 

How to get eMail Marketing to work better for you

How to get eMail Marketing to work better for you

Let’s have a quick talk about email marketing.

Why use email marketing

Have you ever wondered why so many websites ask you for your email? A lot of them are even willing to give you eBooks, access to videos, special content or a free give away. In the internet marketing world, these are call lead magnets. In the sales world, they may be referred to as lost leaders. Why don’t they just go straight to the sales pitch?

Here is why. Firstly the possibility of a person purchasing your product or service increases every-time you engage with them. This is particularly true when they visit your website where the chance of purchasing is almost doubled on their second visit. Secondly, brand awareness improves the chances of people purchasing. So if you go straight to the sales page and only give yourself one chance to sell to them, your percentage chance of closing the deal is much lower.  Add to this the fact that engagement with email is almost double that of any other form of internet marketing and you can see why. You get the opportunity to significantly improve your chance to get a sale.

So when we look at this it is no wonder emails are requested so often. They will give you the opportunity to continually get in front of potential customers, drive brand recognition, direct them to your website offers and greatly improve your chances of a sale. Without a doubt, email marketing is the best form of internet marketing.

 

Don’t do this with email marketing

This does not mean we can just grab addresses and start firing off emails to people, because if you get it wrong you can easily do damage to your brand and turn customers away. You got them to sign up with some key messaging or an offer. There was something that they liked, so you need to consider how you can continue this in your emails. You need to pay some attention to different elements of your email message to make sure you get that next engagement.

 

How to get the best results in email marketing

From a survey of marketing organisations, they were asked what elements of the email message you should focus on the most to get the best results.

No surprise that the first four elements are very similar to creating landing pages for websites and where you probably need to continue your theme or message that encouraged them to sign up in the first place.

 

eMail Title

Firstly you need to focus on your email title which is the first message that your customer will see. If you get that wrong your email exists to the deleted folder. People receive lots of emails every day so you have to have a compelling title that says “Open me I have something you are interested in.”

 

Visual Appeal

Once they make that click your message needs to hit them with enough visual appeal that they want to read on. Think about your original offer. What were the headings, visual elements, colours? If you are taking your customer to an upsell or cross-sell or sales funnel, how are you building on that messaging and value?

 

Call To Action

Now you have given them enough of the why it is time to get them the how. It is time for your “Call To Action” message to grab them and compel them to act. You may send them to a product or services page where they can buy, or on to the next stage in the sales funnel, which is why number seven on the list is your landing page.

 

When to Send

But before we get to the landing page there are a couple of things you need to consider. Firstly when to send the email. It does have a significant impact on the engagement levels. Consider that most people have to get through a pile of emails each day and the priority emails for most are going to those that relate to job and family matters, then maybe yours. So late morning may be best for your email as they have cleared the morning backlog. If your product or service is for personal use it may be while they are relaxing in the evening after dinner. You will need to experiment with this based on what you are offering and the time commitment you need. You will need to consider the day of the week and the time of the day.

 

eMail Personalisation

Next is the personalisation of the email. Who wants to receive an email that is obviously a standard email to everyone. When you receive an email that has your name it encourages you to read further. If the email has reference to product or services that you were looking at, then even better.  I always remember being impressed when I got an email promoting products to me, that just last week I had been browsing on their website. Some email automation systems can connect to your online store and generate these emails for you, still clever.

 

Landing Page

Then the landing page. This is where your email sends them when they click on your call to action button or link.  When they click on your call to action don’t send them to the front page of your website, where they then have to search for your product or service. We are lazy, that’s too hard. You have managed to get the customer to open your email, read your message and click on a link, phew. They obviously liked what they saw, so don’t lose the momentum you have created. Make sure your landing page continues the message by using the similar words, imagery, product and calls to action. Close the deal, purchase now, make that commitment to the next stage, buy into the facts or the emotion. This is where you wanted them to go, so make it worth the effort, don’t lose them now.

 

Target Audience, From Line and Mobile Layout

Last but not least are these three target audience, from line and mobile layout. I will only touch on these.

  1. If your message does not speak to the audience you will lose them. Age appropriate images, messages, fonts, language and journey. X vs Y generation. If you have a complex product you may need to take your customer through a process of adding value and benefits. Some people like facts, others buy based on emotion, some respond to a strong call to action while other respond to the vision. Maybe you need all of these so no one gets left behind.
  2. From line is who it says the message is from in the email system. If it is obviously from an automated generator,  does not look like a valid email address or not from a company they recognise. This is a warning message to a lot of people and their natural instinct is to delete. They see your email as a threat. Is it spam, does it contain a virus, I don’t know who that is, junk mail, gone.
  3. Finally, mobile layout. With the increase in mobile phone use, your email and landing pages are going to be opened by people using phones. If the user experience is not good you can lose them. With responsive web technologies, there is no reason for your email and landing pages to look bad on a phone. Pages can auto resize to fit the device they are being viewed on and still create a great user experience.

Test and Measure

Now for something that is not on the graph. Test and Measure

Create a range of alternative emails, experimenting with your messages, images, calls to action, colours, layout, fonts, buttons and more. See which ones create the best engagement with your customers. This is sometimes referred to as A/B testing, where you put out two versions of an email and see which one performs better. Some businesses will experiment by changing one element at a time and measuring the effect this has. You may be amazed how a little change can make a big difference.

There are several ways to measure the effectiveness of emails. If you are using a centralise analytics tool to measure your campaigns you could add analytic to the links and buttons. But the best way is to use one of the many email automation tools available which will give you an extensive range of data about how people engaged with your email. They can tell you who deleted it, who opened it, who clicked on it and more. Some also offer tools to create an email with a range of templates to get you started. There are some good templates that generate high engagement, so you don’t have to experiment as much. They also provide customers with the opportunity to unsubscribe, otherwise, you could be blacklisted for spamming.

 

Good Luck

Improve your email marketing

Comparing Advertising Costs and Effectiveness

Comparing Advertising Costs and Effectiveness

 

Comparing Advertising Costs and EffectivenessCost per 1000 people

With the introduction of internet advertising, one of the common questions that gets asked is “Is it cost effective”

Is Internet Advertising Cost Effective

When compared to traditional marketing, internet marketing is the most cost-effective way to advertise but does require you to get your advertising settings correct to maximise your spend. With the wrong settings, you could advertise with very little return.

Internet advertising companies use a term CPM, or cost per 1000 impressions of your ad being seen. Both Google and Facebook have definitions for CPM.

Google definition of CPM

Facebook definition of CPM

CPM allows us to compare this to other forms of advertising, as they also provide readership or listeners audience statistics. These comparisons will differ with each publication or broadcaster, as each one has a different audience, coverage and demographics. So as a general comparison the cost to reach 1000 people, the numbers look like this:

Newspaper               $32

Magazine                  $20

Radio                        $8

TV                             $6

Internet                   $0.25 to $2.75

Unfortunately, you will not get a TV advert for $6, as it requires a significant upfront investment for the ad to be produced and for the advertising spots. This is the same with the other forms of advertising, where getting an advert in the newspaper or magazine requires an upfront investment to even get started.

We compare this to internet advertising where your minimum spend can be as low $1 a day. You are able to set a budget with most internet advertising systems, giving you the ability to manage your spend.

With internet advertising, you mostly pay per interaction being a Cost per Click or Cost Per Conversion (CPC). Cost Per Click is anyone who is presented you advert and clicks on it. Cost Per Conversion is anyone who is presented your advert and completes a specific action, such as a purchase or email subscription.

This makes internet advertising very appealing, with a lower cost to reach 1000 people and a lower entry-level cost.

How Effective is Internet Advertising

Internet advertising is very effective because it allows you to define your target audience and a range of other parameters based on your advertising goals. Your ads will only be shown to people who match your parameters.

Advertising platforms give you the ability to get very specific when targeting an audience. There are hundreds of targeting options. Some examples are income, location, interests, past purchasing behaviour, friends of people who already like you, those who have engaged in the past, age, family composition, events, home ownership, industry, job title and more. On some platforms, you can even get the system to find people with a similar profile to those who have already purchased from you.

Your focus then turns to click through rate (CTR), which is a measure of how many people interacted with your advertisement. Most internet advertising platforms provide you with statistics for CTR. To achieve a good CTR your advertisement needs to provide a strong value proposition and a clear call to action for your target customers. With internet advertising, you have the ability to run A/B testing, where you run multiple ads with different messages and calls to action. You can then measure which ads work better for your target audience.

One of the most significant elements of internet advertising is your ability to measure the effectiveness of your ads and quickly adjust them for better results. Some advertising platforms provide close to real-time reporting. By comparison, other forms of advertising are more difficult to measure and take longer for you to determine the effectiveness of your advert.

Let us compare internet advertising with other forms of advertising.

  • Newspapers: Based on the readership and demographics good advertising for local business and in some cases target audiences. But in most cases, they have a broad readership base, which makes it difficult to target audiences. One chance to get your message right. Difficult to measure.
  • Magazines: Often targeting a specific audience, so good for brand recognition, promotions and product advertising. One chance to get your message right. Difficult to measure.
  • Radio: A broad audience. Good for specific promotions and brand recognition. Difficult to target.
  • TV: A broad audience, but offers the best brand recognition and engagement. TV is reported to provide the best return on investment, but with significant financial risks due to the upfront costs. An expensive entry point, so if you get your message wrong it can be difficult to get a return on investment. Audience engagement can drop off very quickly.
  • Internet: Ability to target the audience based on parameters or prior interest. Ability to measure advert effectiveness and make adjustments very quickly. Can be difficult to learn how to use.

We have seen the current increase of video advertising on the internet. With internet and cell phone connections improving, video can now be seen effectively by customers. Internet companies like Semrush https://www.semrush.com and Search Engine Land https://searchengineland.com/ are telling us that like TV, video advertising engagement is more effective than static ads on the internet.

So to summarise, internet advertising is effective:

  • You can get your adverts in front of more people for less money than other forms of advertising
  • Lower cost of entry
  • You can control your advertising budget
  • You can target your preferred audience using a range of parameters
  • You can measure and adjust your advertising based on the levels of engagement
  • You can use a range of advertising mediums.
How to grow your Instagram

How to grow your Instagram

Instagram is a very visual social media platform that allows you to share your pictures, photos and videos. Instagram has a smartphone app, which provides the best access to the features available. Like other social media platforms, Instagram accounts have profiles, news feeds and followers. When you make a post it shows on your feed, the feed of those that are following you, the hashtag feed (more below) and if popular the feed of those who are interested in your type of content.

How do you get followers on Instagram?

There are several ways to get followers, some of them controlled by you and others controlled by Instagrams algorithms. But basically if other people on Instagram like your posts or what you have to say they can start following you.

Instagram has several ways that it presents your posts to others. Instagram allows a user to search for a topic of interest, follow a topic of interest by following a hashtag, allows users to follow others and using its algorithms it knows what users like so starts presenting them posts they may be interested in, which could be yours. The more engagement your post gets the more Instagram presents it to others.

Hashtags are the most common way to get followers. When making a post you are able to add hashtags that relate to the topic of your post. For example, if you are selling furniture you may add the hashtags like #furtiture #modern #lounge. When you add a hashtag to a post your pictures will show in the hashtag feed. Other Instagram users are able to search or follow hashtag feeds because they are interested in the topic or content. Or they may have shown an interest in similar posts in the past, so are presented yours. When they see your post they can like it, comment on it, click on your profile picture and see your other posts. If they like what they see they can follow you. As long as they are following you, your posts will be shown in their feed.

One other tag that may help is the geotag. When Instagram users are looking for a local supplier of products or services they may search the hashtag and location. If you are near your posts will be shown.

Other factors also determine the level of engagement you get. What time you post, do you make comments on others posts, do you like other peoples posts, are you consistent with your posts, do you ask others to follow you, do you follow others, are you offering something for free and most importantly is your post visually engaging.

If you have a good story to tell that you cannot tell through a single post, you can add stories to your Instagram profile. Anyone visiting your profile can view your stories and when you add a new story, anyone following you will see it at the top of their feed.

Using Instagram you can improve your brand, product and services visibility, but there are only a few ways to get people to click through to your website.

  1. Your website link on your profile (clickable)
  2. A website address in your post (not clickable)
  3. Instagram ads (clickable)
  4. Stories on a verified Instagram account can use swipe up to link to your website (swipeable) (verified accounts have a little blue tick next to their name in their profile)
  5. Certain businesses can tag products in their organic Instagram photos. When a user clicks this product they are shown a short product description and then they have the option to click-through to the website to learn more or make a purchase.

If you are looking to promote to a specific audience other than hashtags, there are two ways.

  1. Paid advertising on Instagram, which uses the facebook AdWords platform where you target people using a range of parameters. This also provides clickable posts to your website URL.
  2. Sponsored posts or stories where you search for an Instagram user that has a large following, normally related to your topic. If they have a contact button on their profile you can ask them to put your post or story in their feed for a small fee, giving you instant views from thousands of people. If they are a verified account (little blue tick next to their name in their profile) you can get them to link your story to your website.

Grow your Instagram

Does your sales funnel bring people back

Does your sales funnel bring people back

Having a sales funnel can be very important to your success on the internet. A sales funnel helps you to engage with your target audience at each stage of their journey to maximise your investment in internet marketing. With each engagement you increase the potential to convert, with the conversion rates doubling on the 2nd to 5th visit (engagement).

Before you develop your sales funnel you should establish your social media goals, how you are going to measure social media success if your measure is in financial terms and what tools will be best for your content marketing?

With almost every social media platform offering search capabilities your content and messaging needs to match those you are targeting and when you are targeting them. If you are using paid advertising there is the potential to target your messaging based on past engagement, location, age, interests, profile and much more.

To maximise your conversion rate a sales funnel is an important part of your eMarketing strategy.

Return visits sales funnel

What tools do you use for content marketing

What tools do you use for content marketing

Tools for Content Marketing

There are many places and ways that you can promote yourself or your business using the internet. We all know about the main channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. Which channel you use will be based on the audience you want to target or the best vehicle for your message.

Some of you will just focus on one channel, while others will use multiple channels. If you are targeting multiple channels consider an automation tool to reduce the effort required and gather engagement analytics. If you want to track conversions from your content marketing efforts there are a range of tools available which normally include dynamic tracking URLs in your posts.

Facebook – Engage your audience with updates, advice and promotions. Consider paid promotions to get more reach.

LinkedIn – Helps to manage your professional relationships, grow your business network and connect with new prospects.

Twitter – Share up to the minute news, events and updates. Maximise reach with hashtags.

Pinterest – Create company boards and pin content relevant to your audience.

YouTube – training videos, client testimonials and product demos.

Google – Create a profile for your business on +. Register as a local business.

Instagram – Share images of your products and inspirational words that are relevant to your customers.

You also have webinars, podcasts, press releases, local search and PCC.

Regardless of the channel, most of these are focused on getting customers to engage, with a lot of them arriving at your website. You need to have your website ready to receive them:

Landing pages to convert, specials, offers, downloads and promotions

Presenting your business

User experience

Capturing Leads

Mobile optimised

Directing customers to buy

Where you can you should optimise your content engagement to capture emails. Email marketing is considered to be one of the best tools for internet sales.

Based on the integration and channels your use you can then use paid marketing to promote to those who have shown an interest in what you offer.

Good content marketing

content marketing channels

Social Media Strategy Goal

Social Media Strategy Goal

Do You have a Social Media Strategy Goal?

You can spend a lot of time on Social Media, creating materials, giveaways, interesting posts, promotions all in an effort to attract new customers or maybe just to get likes and followers.

But if you really want Social Media to work for you and you are serious about Social Media as a way to achieve your what you want, then you need to have a goal. Having a goal will focus you on how you measure your success and then how you optimise your social media efforts.

Based on your goal it may become obvious that certain Social Media platforms are not going to work for you, or that you need to be across multiple platforms to create the exposure and direct them where you want them to go. You may find that certain images, messages, words, videos, have more impact than others with your target audience.

Start with one or two and see how it can potentially focus your message and maybe even reduce your efforts.

Social Media Strategy Goal

How do you measure success

How do you measure success

There is a success in social media when you achieve more follower, like, shares, reach, impressions, mentions, reads and clicks. All of this means your brand, product or profile is getting more exposure on the internet. More exposure normally means more business.

So to measure your success in terms of the actual dollars is a little different. If you are using advertising there is the amount you spend to get the new customers. If you are just using posts, videos, images, SEO and blogs there is still a cost for the time and effort involved. In this image are some of the measure you can use.

Measure dollar success

How do you measure Social Media Success

How do you measure Social Media Success

Do you want to measure the impact of your social media

How you measure Social Media Success should be part of your marketing efforts.

Wondering which social media metrics you should focus on?

Did you know that when it comes to social media metrics, there are hundreds you could be analyzing? But the real question is, do you know where to find them and are they all necessary for your business? Which ones matter most for your business?

While some social media marketing metrics are universal, there are also platform specific, plus some data is calculated differently depending on the platform and social media metrics tools you’re using.

Here are the main ones that are followed to measure success.

  • Page Likes: Total Page Likes is the number of unique people who like your Page. New Page Likes shows the number of new Likes your Page received during the period measured.
  • Post Reach: Total Reach is the number of unique people who have seen any content associated with your Page, including ads, during the last seven days. Post Reach shows the number of unique people who have seen your Page posts.
  • Engagement: People Engaged is the number of unique people who have clicked, Liked, commented on or shared your posts during the last seven days.
  • Reach: Post reach is the number of people who have seen your post. Your post counts as reaching someone when it’s shown in the Feeds.
  • Engagement: People engaged is the number of unique people who’ve clicked, Liked, commented on or shared a post on your Page.
  • Impressions: The number of times a post from your Page is displayed, whether the post is clicked or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, someone might see a Page update in News Feed once, and then a second time if their friend shares it.
  • Engagement Rate Percentage: Engagement rate is the percentage of people who saw a post that Liked, shared, clicked or commented on it.
  • Profile Visits: The number of people who have visited your profile.
  • Mentions: The number of times your username has been mentioned by others.
  • Followers: The number of followers.
  • Interactions: The number of likes, comments and shares on your update.

 

Why should you have a website

Why should you have a website

For most, the reason for having a website is that they want to GROW THEIR BUSINESS

If you are not on the internet you can’t be found by all those searching for businesses like yours.

 

Will a web site help grow your business?

The answer is yes, as long as you do it properly. A bad website can also turn customers away. A website design that provides a good user experience and is optimised for search engines will bring you new clients.

 

How will a website grow my business?

To answer this let us look at some of the research, perceptions and expectations that support that:

  • Google research tells us that 52% of people used the internet to research their next purchase of products or services.
  • When customers search for products and services like yours you will show up in the search results
  • You have the opportunity to showcase your products and services
  • People use the internet like they used to use the phone book
  • Your customers expect it
  • It provides social proof that you are a reputable business
  • You control what people read about your business, unlike Social Media where you are at the mercy of customer reviews and comments
  • You have the opportunity to educate your customers about your value proposition
  • Web pages provide more bang for your buck compared to other marketing channels
  • Your competitors have websites
  • Your website is open 24 hours a day answering questions
  • Google tells us that there are thousands of searches a month for most types of products and services

 

If your website is found will people buy?

Google tells us that 26% of the people who searched the web for a business were happy to go with the first one they found on the internet that provided them with what they wanted. This is good if you are the first business listed in the search results.

 

But there is still hope with 32% of the people comparing 2 businesses and 23% of the people comparing 3 businesses and so on. This does not mean you need to be listed in the first three to be selected. When you look at search results there are often results that people skip over because the web description does not fit with their expectations or when they visit the website it does not deliver what they are looking for.

A good website with the right kind of content and good web design will give your customers the experience they are searching for. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will help you to determine the best content to have on your website so you will rank higher in the search results. eMarketing will allow you to be featured in search ads directing potential customers to your website.

 

 

5 Tips on Creating a Killer Facebook Ad Campaign

5 Tips on Creating a Killer Facebook Ad Campaign

 

While just about every social-networking platform now has its own fully integrated advertising system, Facebook still reigns supreme in terms of features, insights and audience. As a business, that means Facebook is the ideal place to start. But unfortunately, just because Facebook is a great platform for advertising doesn’t mean all brands use it effectively. Many end up wasting money and throwing resources down the drain, because they have no strategy or don’t understand how to use it. Hopefully that’s not you. All it takes to succeed is a little knowledge of how Facebook advertising works and what some of the best practices are.

Here are my five tips for creating a killer Facebook ad campaign:

1. Mine audience insights.

Facebook’s Audience Insights is one of the best tools you have at your disposal. It essentially allows you to learn about specific audiences before risking your budget or targeting them. It works by mining available Facebook data and showing you exactly who your target market is, based on people who already like your page.

Instead of taking a shot in the dark, you now know exactly which users are likely to follow through with your ad’s call-to-action. It saves a lot of time and money, allowing you to focus on the quality of the ad and avoid wasting time on targeting.

2. Create unique ad sets for each audience.

One of the neatest features of Facebook’s advertising platform is that you can create separate ad sets for unique audiences. In other words, you can create two different ads and deliver them to two completely unique audiences. Or you can create the same exact ad and send it to two different audiences. Ultimately, the result is better targeting.

For example, let’s say you’re a retailer that sells kitchen supplies. Maybe you have a really awesome new stainless steel mixing bowl that you’re trying to market to two different groups. Instead of delivering the same ad to everyone, you can create two unique ads and deliver them to two distinct target markets. The first ad could be targeted towards professional chefs, whereas the second one may be focused on stay-at-home moms who like quality chef-grade kitchen supplies. The two ads will be completely different, despite the fact that the same item is being pushed.

3. Accompany ads with landing pages.

Very rarely should you connect an ad to your website or product page without first pushing visitors through a landing page. Landing pages allow you to maximize your Facebook advertising efforts by educating users before asking them to buy.

Landing pages make sense because Facebook advertising isn’t cheap. You’re going to spend money on your clicks and you want each one to count. Simply sending them to a basic website or product page without any clear direction of what they need to do is a waste of money.

4. Use striking imagery

You’ll hear people teach entire courses on how to write Facebook ad copy, but for some reason, the same amount of attention isn’t given to the images used in these ads. This is unfortunate, since visual content is far more influential than textual content.

“You don’t have to use a shot of your business, product or service,” says Nicolas Gremion of Free-eBooks.net. “Rather use a (relevant if possible) image that will catch people’s eyes and have them read your ad.” Facebook tells you that you can’t use images that contain more than 20 percent words, so it’s clear that images are designed to grab attention, not display a message. Take advantage of this valuable real estate within your ad.

5. Establish a bid strategy and budget

Finally, it’s critically important that you set a bid strategy and budget. Otherwise you’ll end up spending way more than you intended. Thankfully, Facebook makes this easy by allowing you to use what’s known as Optimized CPM.

With this tool, you’re essentially giving Facebook the permission to bid for ad space based on the constraints and goals you provide. This generally allows you to maximize your budget and avoid overspending. Until you get an idea of how much ad space costs and how to allocate your budget, it’s best to let Facebook take care of this aspect of your campaign.

Putting it all together

Creating a killer Facebook ad campaign is all about understanding the platform and utilizing the features you have at your disposal. While you certainly need to think about the ad itself, you have to start with the platform you’re using. Once you determine who you’re targeting and how much you’re willing to spend, you can then focus on the finer details.

Using these five tips, you should be able to get started and experience some initial success. As always, remember that Facebook is constantly changing its advertising platform, so stay on top of any new developments and apply them accordingly.

Source: Create a killer Facebook campaign

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Master Marketing

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Master Marketing

One of the first hurdles a small business owner faces is getting the word out about her new business. Or, if the business is established, growing the business and attracting new customers. At the heart of driving sales is marketing. For business owners without marketing experience, this can seem overwhelming. The good news is there is a lot a small business owner can do to market a business easily and efficiently.

1. Define your unique value proposition (UVP).

The first step in marketing a business effectively is understanding your capabilities and the white space your business is filling in your industry.

Inevitably, you will face competition, so take the time to outline what sets you apart from your competitors. Become as informed as possible on your industry. Sign up for industry newsletters; read relevant trade publications; and consider participating in industry events. This will allow you to identify trends, and stay up-to-date with important news. It will also help you identify your competitors. Take a close look at what they are doing and how they present themselves to potential customers.

Then determine who your target customers are and what they want. This is important – one of the biggest small business marketing pitfalls is to assume you know your customer without doing research.

Clearly identify the service you are providing and the problem you are solving for your target customers. This will help you define your UVP – the unique benefit you are providing for your customers.

You’re not trying to sell to everyone, which is a good thing. Your goal is to clearly define who you are targeting, why they want your product and how best to reach them. Once you know that, your job is to consistently execute your marketing plan.

2. Maximize your online presence.

Armed with a clear understanding of your business and its industry, it’s time to market it to potential customers.

While there are many marketing channels to consider, typically the most efficient and cost-effective are online.

Take time to audit your online presence. An easy place to start is your website. Make sure the website design is consistent with your brand and that the site is easy for customers to navigate, and find the information they’re looking for.

If it’s appropriate for your business, make it easy for customers to sign up for a mailing list. This will enable you to build a database of customers, who give you permission to reach out to them regularly with product updates, interesting news or coupons.

In addition to listing your products or services, consider adding a blog to your website to provide tips and product or service updates to customers.

Beyond your own website, be sure to build your presence on and spend time managing review sites, like Yelp and Angie’s List. These help validate your business and can boost sales. You can even share good customer reviews on your website.

Whether you’re communicating via your website, a blog, an email, a third party review site or social media, be sure to keep a consistent voice. Every customer touchpoint is an opportunity to build your brand.

3. Start a conversation.

Social media channels are a low-cost way to get the word out about your business and build relationships with your target audience.

Choose a channel, which your customers are already on. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn serve very different purposes, so be smart in your choices, and think about the kind of content you like to post. Using platforms specific to your business makes it easy for customers to find and interact with your business online.

When it comes to posting on social media, consistency is key.

Create a schedule to ensure you are posting regularly so your audience knows to expect content. For example, plan for three posts a week, which you can draft in advance.

In order to keep content dynamic, take a three-prong approach:

  1. Talk about yourself and your business,
  2. Talk about your customers,
  3. And talk about your industry.

Share updates about what’s happening at your business, such as a new shipment you’ve received or a peek behind the scenes. Be sure to thank your customers, and engage them through questions.

Finally, share interesting news articles, and invite your social media followers to share their thoughts. In all social media posts, make sure you’re authentic and realistic so your audience can connect with you.

4. Consider paid content.

The paid aspects of social media can also be a great way to boost your business’ profile, and get in front of new customers.

For instance, you can target the exact type of customer you are looking to attract with advertising through Facebook and LinkedIn campaigns, based on the information individuals have shared on their profiles.

If you have the ability to incorporate this tailored approach into your budget and cash flow, it is an option worth exploring to supplement your free social media efforts. Sometimes a small campaign can make a big difference.

Regardless of size, every business owner can use the tools available to market their business successfully. Small business owners can be their own CMO, even without a marketing background, by developing a keen awareness of their industry landscape, building out their social media presence and developing their brand identity.

Source: entrepreneur.com

7 Ways to Increase Sales with Marketing Automation

7 Ways to Increase Sales with Marketing Automation

7 Ways to Increase Sales with Marketing Automation

you know the basics of marketing automation: it streamlines, automates, and monitors routine marketing tasks. But a good marketing automation platform is about more than making life easier for the marketing team—it should also help you close more deals.

So, how can you tap into different aspects of marketing automation to increase sales? Check out these seven tips:

1. Pass Over Sales-Ready Leads Using Lead Scoring

Tired of hearing sales complain about marketing’s unqualified leads? Determining when a prospect is sales-ready can be difficult, but a robust marketing automation platform scores leads behind the scenes.

Lead scoring is an automated strategy that adds or subtracts points from each lead based on actions taken or not taken. It can also be used to track demographic data to provide a higher score to a lead that fits your ideal buyer persona. When a lead reaches a threshold that you set, it is deemed “sales-ready” and is passed onto the sales team.

Here is an example of some lead scoring you can implement, based on behaviors:

Lead Scoring Example

Lead scoring helps ensure that your sales team doesn’t waste time on unqualified leads. It can also shorten overall sales cycles.

2. Personalize Your Website

By the time a lead hits your website, they’ve already gained an impression of your company. A personalized website will increase your conversion rate and make a better impression. The lead and customer data (who they are, where they work, online behavior, etc.) can be used to personalize landing pages and other web content seen by each lead. Even anonymous web visitors’ experiences can be personalized.

Identify Web Visitors with Web Personalization

For example, if you are an online retailer, and a visitor who has been shopping for winter coats finds your website, a web page for winter coats would be presented first. Personalized web content helps build a better, more personal, relationship with leads and ensures that their experience with your company is the best it can be–and therefore increases in sales.

3. Provide Your Sales Team with the Info They Need to Follow Up

To make sure your sales-ready leads are being followed up on with the right message by sales–it’s important to provide sales with the information they need to have the best conversation. By tracking the interactions leads have with your company and providing that information to sales in an easy spot, such as their CRM system, sales will be able to have a personalized and effective conversation with each sales-ready lead.

Here is an example of a dashboard that can help prepare your sales team. It’s called Interesting Moments, and it’s a part of the Marketo Sales Insight application in Salesforce.

Marketo Interesting Moments

4. Keep the Conversation Going Using Triggered Emails

When a lead interacts with your company, it’s important to stay top of mind by keeping the conversation going. Triggered emails get sent automatically based on a lead’s actions. They help turn more leads into real customers without wasting your sales team’s time. For example, if a potential customer views a pricing page, an email designed for interested customers can be sent.

Triggered emails have been shown to perform three times better than other types of emails (even batch emails).

5. Segment Your Lead Nurturing

In an ideal world, all marketing leads would be sales-ready. But in reality, most leads are not ready and need some nurturing before they can be passed to sales.

By implementing segmented lead nurturing, you can provide specific content to each lead to push them to become sales-ready–when they are ready. Segmented lead nurturing can be done by industry, role, or company size.

6. Track Your Leads on Every Channel

Your prospects are on every channel—whether it’s browsing on social, searching the web, heading to events and more. It’s important to track each interaction your prospect has with your company–no matter what channel. This will help guide your message to a prospect, based on what types of content your audience is interacting with. This will help increase sales because relevant content is the number one way to keep a prospect engaging with your company.

Use tools native to your engagement platform like predictive content, web personalization, digital ads and triggered emails to help you engage your leads with a timely, relevant and personal message, while also capturing data about their engagement (or lack of engagement) with your message or content.

7. Track Your Results and ROI

Doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results isn’t going to cut it in today’s digital world! Marketers need to be tracking the ROI of every program they run to see if there are tangible results. An ideal ROI is 5x–meaning you are generating 5 times the amount of pipeline or revenue compared to what you paid to run this program.

By tracking this type of data, you’ll know which programs yield the best results for revenue – and keep running those programs and cancel the ones that are not performing.

An engagement platform with marketing automation doesn’t just offer benefits for the marketing team—it can help sales win more deals, more often and more efficiently.

Source: Lizzy Funk