Creating A Solid Schedule For Polling Customers

Posted on May 21, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Austin, TX, Email Marketing

Customer surveys are an invaluable method of finding out what people think of your business. The feedback you receive will help you discover any flaws in your products/services and enhance your brand image. Once you find out what the consumers want, it’s just a matter of giving it to them! Yet creating surveys in a haphazard way has been a feature of business over the years and this has seen countless organizations miss a wonderful opportunity to improve their business. Below are some quick tips on creating an effective customer survey.

Analyze Goals of Survey

For a customer survey to work, you need to determine what you’re trying to learn and what you intend to do with that information. If customers are already delighted with your services, you need to know that as much as you must be aware if there are issues consumers want taken care of. Growing companies need to create and send out a survey every 6 months. The goals should include the gauging of customer service effectiveness, measuring customer loyalty and new product development.

Creating Quality Questions

This is a difficult process and may require the services of an expert in the field but here are some pointers:

  • All questions need to be specific with no room for ambiguity.
  • Double barrel questions such as ‘how simple and timely was this experience?’ must be avoided.
  • Use a multiple indicator approach by asking customers how satisfied they were, how far their experience exceeded or fell short of expectations and how their experience compares to their ideal experience.
  • The more questions you ask, the more information you receive and the less margin for error there is.
  • Add in a comments field at the end of each section so customers can expand on their answers.

Offer Incentives

Even though your survey only takes a few minutes, most customers will ignore it unless there is something in it for them. Offering a special discount or a free download with important information will offer people some motivation and increase the likelihood of them completing the survey.

The Set Up

There are a myriad of data collection and automated survey programs that allow you to set up customer feedback programs for free. These programs offer paid versions with advanced features to help you create even better customer surveys. Advertise your survey on your website, blog page, social media networking sites and in your email signature as well as sending it to email subscribers.

When you get your customer responses, evaluate each and every one and make changes to your company website/marketing plan based on the feedback you receive if appropriate. When you respond to customer feedback, you show consumers that you care about their opinion and enhance your company’s reputation.

Capturing Leads From Your Website

Posted on May 11, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Your website should be much more than just an ornament if you want to be successful in the world of online business. If your lead capture system isn’t working, then your website is ultimately a failure. Simply put, a certain percentage of traffic must become leads and then a certain amount of these leads need to become paying customers. Otherwise, what is the purpose of your website? You will read lots of tips about improving lead capture that are specific to a certain industry but below, we offer all-encompassing tips for online businesses.

Web Analytic Goals & Funnels

When adding funnels and goals for you web site traffic, ‘improving lead capture’ should be an automatic choice. Enter in the average value of a lead; knowledge of this is vital if you want to make the right decision when it comes to web development and paid search. A funnel is the path you want visitors to take on your site before they sign up and setting up funnels enables you to gain a greater understanding of visitor behavior. Use funnels along with Visitor Flow to compare how many customers are using your website with how many should be visiting it. Response Wise is adding a whole new web analytics feature so you can set up goals and funnels and track all of your web site activity.

Split Test Landing Pages

Believe it or not, seemingly innocuous changes to your landing pages can have a profound effect on lead capture. Perhaps your existing call-to-action button is not prominent enough. Change it to a more obvious color and see if this improves customer response. It is important to consider creating landing pages for every marketing campaign where lead capture is a goal. This doesn’t have a huge impact on your resources and the results can be astounding. Even a single change to a landing page form could cause a 50% improvement in lead captures.

Create a ‘Thank You’ Page URL

Few companies bother taking this step yet it can have a serious positive impact on lead capture rates. Those who complete the ‘contact us’ form you have on your website should be redirected to a special ‘Thank You’ page. It is then possible to create a web site goal by using this Thank You page URL while giving each completed lead or goal a specific value. Once you know the average value of your lead, you will be able to make important marketing decisions.

Although these tips will increase your lead capture rate, this will have no impact on your overall revenue unless your company’s staff is trained to understand the importance of each lead. Therefore, improving your website’s lead capture rate is only one part of the story, albeit a very valuable one.

Get Customers Onside By Providing Value For Their Personal Details

Posted on Apr 30, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Austin, TX, Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

There are a myriad of analytics tools out there that will help you discover how many people visit your site on any given day. Such tools are essential if you want your online business to succeed as they enable you to find out what type of advertising and marketing campaigns are the most effective. However, these tools only provide you with numbers and having thousands of anonymous visitors will not move you any closer to a successful marketing campaign.

You need names and email addresses if you want to go down the personalized email route but sending spam emails can generate negative publicity for your company. People are more protective of their email addresses than ever before and do not tolerate spam. If you wish to get a prospect’s details, you need to make it worth their while.

Provide Value

The Internet is supposed to be about providing and receiving useful information so instead of blatantly trying to sell your wares right off the bat, offer something of value in exchange for a visitor’s details. For example, you could offer an exclusive whitepaper or video of something related to your industry that gives important information about your niche. For example, if you are selling baby products, you could offer a whitepaper that offers well-researched information on baby nutrition, health, safety and anything else of interest to new parents.

Special Offers

Most people will not click on prize draws unless it is worth their while. They know that the odds of winning such a prize are slim so make sure it is a great prize such as a vacation of a lifetime in Las Vegas or Hawaii or a brand new car. Clearly, such extravagant giveaways are not for small businesses. Additionally, this strategy is something of a risk because you will receive lots of email addresses from people completely uninterested in your products/services and only looking for the prize.

Free Newsletter

Offering an informative email newsletter filled with exclusive content to subscribers is an age-old and effective strategy for getting customer details. These newsletters should be regular offerings and provide excellent information and details of special offers available from your company. The information contained within should make the recipient feel as if they are part of ‘an inner circle’ because if the standard of your newsletter drops, expect lots of customers to unsubscribe.

Once you receive the email addresses of prospective customers, you can conduct a marketing campaign that makes them feel as if you are speaking to them alone. The best marketers learn the preferences of their target audience and provide information, special offers and products that increase their company’s conversion rate. Remember, the modern consumer wants value in exchange for his personal details.

Analyzing Visitors To Your Website With Good Analytics

Posted on Apr 22, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Austin, TX, Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Without analytics, businesses would be completely lost when it comes to learning more about visitors to their websites. Tools like Google Analytics not only tell you how many people visit your site, they also analyze visitor behavior. This information is vital when it comes to marketing and advertising and clever use of this data can prevent you from wasting a fortune. It is of course important to note that analytics are a snapshot of your website at a certain point in time so resist the urge to overanalyze everything. Keep reading to learn more about analyzing visitors to your website and how to take advantage of the information you discover.


Here is a quick guide to the terms you will find in Google Analytics or any similar tool:

  • Page Views: This counts the number of times a page on your website is loaded and gives you a rough idea of traffic.
  • Unique Visitors: This is more useful than page views because it tells you how many individual visitors have been on your site. So if a person views 100 pages on your site, he only counts as one visitor.
  • Page/visit: Number of pages visited by each person.
  • Duration: How long a visitor spent on your site.
  • Bounce Rate: % of visitors that left the site after viewing only one page.

Google Analytics

This is one of the premier analytics tools and is free if your site has less than 10 million page views a month. After signing up, you need to give it at least a few days to collect data. It is extremely easy to use and it can be connected to your AdWords campaign which allows you to see if your adverts are bringing in new visitors.

Analyze for Success

You can only really accurately interpret the data you receive once a certain amount of visitors come to your website. One of the most important metrics is actually the length of time visitors spend on your website. If this is relatively low, it is an indication that there is a problem. Your challenge is to find the underlying issue which could be anything from incorrect keyword usage to confusing graphics.

It will also be possible to find out if the keywords are directing your target audience to the website. This will be apparent if you discover that a high percentage of visitors are filling in your contact form or else they spend a lot of time on the website and browse through several pages. If users find your website by entering your company name, this is great news because it means you have achieved some form of brand recognition and is a sign of impending success.

Prioritizing Your Incoming Leads

Posted on Apr 15, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Although online businesses have all the tools in the world to help them, an inability to prioritize their leads means they fail to meet the targets they set. Latest research suggests that almost 70% of companies struggle with lead generation while over 50% of sales executives interviewed in a recent survey believe that marketing-generated leads lack in quantity and quality. Lack of prioritization is deemed to be one of the biggest reasons for a fall in sales productivity. It is important to note that increasing sales productivity by 15% is the equivalent of increasing revenue by 15% so lead prioritization is essential.

Lead Classification

In order to prioritize your leads, you first have to classify them:

  • Value: Are these leads of low, medium or high value?
  • Product Segmentation: Category of leads. For example, home computing system, home stereo system.
  • Categorization of Campaign: Which lead generation campaign provided the lead?
  • Customer Relationship: Is this an existing customer or customer in progress?
  • Confidence Level: Low, medium or high. You need to use ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ data to come to this conclusion. For instance, if you are selling a product to furnish a home and the customer is in the process of buying a new home, you would be confident that he will purchase your product. If the customer bought his house more than a year ago, you would not be confident because he is likely to have furnished the house already.


When thinking about prioritizing your leads, there are a few considerations that need to be made:

  • If a sales campaign has a deadline for customers to meet and the leads come from this particular campaign, priority should be high.
  • Leads that have a combination of high confidence and high value must be prioritized.
  • You need to prioritize leads related to a product line if revenue from it is falling below target.
  • Existing customers of high value must be high priority leads.

When classifying your leads, you will need to run the results through your sales staff as their feedback should help you fine tune the list. For example, your sales team may find that a lead you had down as ‘high value’ is not as valuable as you thought so it would be removed from the high priority list.

If you want success when it comes to lead prioritization, you need to have clearly defined business rules when it comes to classifying leads. Your leads database will have to be excellent and your querying system needs to be effective.

6 Obvious Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Posted on Apr 10, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Did you know that email marketing has been around since the early 1970s? While instant messaging and tweeting seem to be more popular, the ‘old school’ nature of email is still appealing and a huge number of companies rely on email marketing to generate revenue. This form of marketing is cheap and effective but companies that utilize it are guilty of making the same mistakes time and again. Below are 6 of the most frequently made errors made during an email marketing campaign.

1 – Poor Quality Subject Lines

You can spend as much as you like on an email marketing company that guarantees delivery of your email past the spam filter but if you have a dull subject line, forget about people opening it. The ideal subject line is short, snappy and promises intriguing content such as ‘3 ways Twitter can boost your business’.

2 – Irrelevant Content

This involves abusing the low cost of email marketing by sending emails laden with irrelevant content. For example, if you are sending emails about single vacations to bachelors, you should not start including information about family-friendly holiday sites.

3 – No Permission

Sending emails to people who have not agreed to subscribe is the very definition of spamming. Once you start sending emails to people who have not asked for them, there is no way back. They will see you as a spammer and will never deal with you again.

4 – Pointless Marketing

This is when businesses begin an email marketing campaign without a clear goal. They have no idea how to improve the life of the subscriber (which should always be the main goal) and the result is a disaster of a campaign that leads nowhere. Before committing to an email campaign, think about why you are doing it in the first place! Are you looking to educate, inform or begin a dialogue with the consumer for example?

5 – No Analytics

When you send out batches of emails, you simply must know the statistics such as how many were opened and how many bounced. Without statistics, you have no way of knowing if your email marketing campaign is a success. You need metrics to find out what works and what needs tweaking. With statistics, you can find out useful information such as effective subject lines and the best time of day to send the emails.

6 – Not Shareable

You need to create emails that provide value and are worthy of being shared. If your recipients like the emails, they may decide to share them which is great news for you. Imagine having one of your high quality emails shared on Facebook and Twitter. You could almost guarantee a spike in sales.

The above mistakes may be common but they are also easy to avoid so take heed of the advice above and embark on a successful and error-free email marketing campaign.

Salesforce & Email Marketing

Posted on Mar 20, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media


Effective segmentation, cost effectiveness and the fact you can easily track results are all compelling reasons to use email marketing. Salesforce is a brilliant CRM platform and gives you the ability to send out email campaigns but very limited without the use of a integration partner. Clearly, those whom you send emails to need to be subscribers or else your email will end up unopened in the recipient’s junk bin. When you use Salesforce and choose an integration partner such as Response Wise, you can use automated drip marketing campaigns which is a more thoughtful and complex method or else you can go all-out with mass emails.

The integration between Salesforce and Response Wise allows for more marketing automation. This enables an automated process on moving leads from the top of the marketing funnel through to becoming sales-ready leads at the bottom of the funnel. Prospects are scored, based on their activities, and then presented drip campaign messaging via email and social channels, thus nurturing them from first interest through to sale.

Email Limit

Salesforce is popular because it offers so many ways of managing contacts and your sales opportunity pipeline. Using a CRM like this allows you to really track how marketing efforts are translating into sales. It’s important to note that Salesforce does NOT allow you to launch insanely large email marketing campaigns as you are limited to 1,000 emails per day, maximum. In some cases, Salesforce packages restrict you to 250 emails a day while others keep you at 500 per day.


If you are looking for an email application that allows you more flexibility than that provided by Salesforce and need a greater upper limit, you obviously have a few choices. While Salesforce may not specialize in email marketing, the company is loathe to lose your business. This is why you can use a variety of mass email marketing services that integrate with Salesforce including Response Wise. You need to discover with option suits your company’s needs best, taking into account criteria such as functionality and pricing.

One you have integrated your mass email marketing solution of choice with Salesforce, your sales team will have the ability to determine which email was received by a contact or lead along with a list of detailed analytics. This will help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your current campaign. You can also create landing pages within Response Wise for your web site. When those landing pages are filled out, an account record is automatically created in Salesforce those opportunities can then be prioritized appropriately.

Response Wise’s integration with Salesforce allows you to completely manage your campaigns within Salesforce.

Using Email Marketing To Automate Communications Via Lead Scores

Posted on Mar 6, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Marketing

All successful businesses know that staying on top involves a combination of keeping existing customers happy while bringing in new consumers on a regular basis. It is a difficult juggling act but no one ever said that attaining success in the field of business was easy! It is estimated that finding new customers is up to 5 times more expensive than keeping existing ones. This news causes businesses to play it safe and their failure to take a risk and expand ultimately leads to their demise. The thing about email marketing is that it’s one of the cheapest and most effective methods of attracting new customers while rewarding existing clients.

Automated Communications

The beauty of email marketing is that it takes so little time to implement. You create your emails, send them to your subscribers and wait for the analytics to tell you where you are going right and what needs improvement. The entire process can be automated so you can schedule emails for the distant future and relax as the emails find their way into the inboxes of your subscribers. But simply creating emails and sending them off is not likely to attract new customers. You need to treat prospects differently than existing customers in order to turn leads into paying consumers.

Lead Scoring

This is the process of assigning a relative value to specific criteria which will usually take the form of any attributes you have identified as being associated with prospects. Essentially, the actions taken by your prospects will be accrued into a score. The higher this score is, the more likely it is that your lead will eventually become a customer. This is a great time saver as your company can focus its attentions on leads that are likely to become customers rather than wasting money on people that have no interest in parting with their money.

When using lead scoring, it is important to start simple. You don’t need extremely complicated categories. Know what each category measures and get to work. The content in each email must be interesting, targeted and relevant. Email marketers find that they achieve their best results when every email has been created with a specific purpose in mind at a specific stage of the purchasing process. It is important not to panic if the lead scores you set up don’t give you the results you desire.

Lead scoring is known to be a process that can take time and those who are patient tend to get the best results. Most companies like to run a lead scoring model for 3 months and review it periodically making the necessary adjustments after this initial period. If you utilize lead scoring correctly, expect your company to enjoy a greater revenue stream than ever before.

3 Ways To Increase Your Social Media Following Via Email

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Marketing, Social Media

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that email marketing and the overall concept of email is a thing of the past. Billions of emails are sent every single day which is hardly the hallmark of a moribund communication channel. One of the great things about email is its versatility. This is proven by the way you can combine it with other marketing efforts such as mobile and social. Today, we will concentrate on social and provide 3 quick and easy tips which will help you use email to increase your social networking profile.

No Begging

One of the single biggest mistakes companies on social networks make is to simply ask users to be their friend or to ‘follow’ them. If you want to get subscribers that could potentially become customers, you need to offer a certain level of value. You need to take part in a discussion, provide some valuable information or offer resources. Basically, you need to show social network users what you can do for them right off the bat. Use the same tactics as you would in your email marketing campaign. That is, be tactful and slowly gain their trust.

Craft Email Messages Dedicated To Social Networking

You need to create an email campaign every single month where you invite customers to become a follower of your social media page. Don’t make the mistake of inviting them to a page that is almost empty. Make sure you have several different discussions underway and connect them to one of the most interesting. Rather than trying to sell them anything at this stage, continue creating excellent and engaging content so that you gain their trust. Get their confidence on the social media site before showing them your wares. Slow but steady wins the Internet sales race!

Be Exclusive, Be Rewarding

You need to show your social media gathering that there is an inherent advantage to being part of the clique. You can do this by providing them with a range of exclusive offers. Give discounts and limited edition products to your social media followers first before asking for their help to spread the message. Instead of revealing your plans via email, do so on your social networking sites first to give your loyal following a heads up.

Instead of focusing on either social media or email marketing, why not get the best of both worlds? Neither option is particularly expensive and when you learn how to work one with the other, you will have a unique marketing strategy that your rivals will find hard to top.

Why Split Testing Email Campaigns Is Important

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Although email marketing is one of the most cost effective and successful methods of marketing, it is a process that is often misunderstood and rarely performed correctly. Companies that carry out email marketing in a mediocre fashion will receive sub-par results. At this stage, email marketing is derided as a failure by these businesses that never look at why they were unsuccessful in the first place. If you try to market without establishing a baseline, you are wasting your time as you will never know what works and why.

Split testing is rarely done at the beginning of an email campaign like it should because companies are too consumed with the process of analyzing metrics. They feel that once the content has been written and the email has been sent to subscribers, their work is almost done. All that remains is to look at the metrics and they have completed one part of their campaign. By neglecting split testing, they are passing up a tremendous opportunity to get inside the mind of recipients and end up with an email marketing campaign that underperforms.

Changing The Way You Send Emails

Many companies make the mistake of believing that split testing is some huge and time consuming operation. In actual fact, you can utilize an A/B split test on a small portion of your emails and still receive great results. Split testing entails sending out two different emails. While each email sells the same thing and ultimately has the same goal, the subject lines, layout and content of each email is completely different. You study the results of each email after they have been sent out and compare and contrast the results.

You should find that one email is more successful than the other. This will help you gain an insight into what your subscriber list wants. Perhaps an email focused on advertising will do the trick or else you may find that your leads prefer an informative message. Failing to split test is a massive mistake because you are missing out on a great opportunity to find out what makes your customer base tick.

In some instances, there may only be a small difference; for example, email A may have a 14% response rate against 12% for email B but even small differences can have a profound impact on a company’s bottom line. On the other hand, you may discover that email A had a 17% response rate against just 8% for email B, a clear indication that the first email is far more effective.

Split testing is likely to be the difference between an email campaign that is successful and one that flounders on the rocks.

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