When it comes to finding your target audience, locating the right communication channel(s) is a key element of making a sales breakthrough. After all, what’s the point of laboriously segmenting your group if you don’t pay attention to how they like to interact? A prime example is blindly sending out marketing emails to prospects that practically live on Twitter!
In the last few years, business owners are feeling pressured into using every available communication channel. In reality, you’ll achieve a greater level of success if you’re disciplined about the channels you utilize. By doing this, you’ll create a consistent marketing message that reaches your target audience in the right way at the correct time in the sales cycle.
The days of splitting your audience into broad groups are long gone. Without detailed information about who, how, and why, customers purchase products and services, you’ll have no shot at competing with the big boys. You shouldn’t necessarily forget traditional media because even in 2018, radio and the printed press offer opportunities for small local businesses in particular.
It wasn’t so long ago that hypersegmentation was classified as the Holy Grail of marketing but today, it practically mandatory. Your company must utilize data warehousing to ensure your marketing team is on the same page with the ability to effectively deploy the firm’s most recent and valid data.
Once your marketing team has identified the different data sources available, you must use a common platform across the firm to achieve an integrated and coordinated approach. With hypersegmentation, you can effectively create limitless ‘markets of one’ so each customer feels valued.
Switching on the Right Channels
The process of hypersegmentation should enable you to determine the right communication channels, and don’t assume everyone wants to be contacted via social media. For instance, if you are a local business targeting a local audience, you don’t need to run a national online search campaign. Believe it or not, the right communication channel in this instance could be something as ‘old-fashioned’ as a local or regional newspaper.
Your hypersegmentation efforts should not only help you identify your target audience, but it will also provide you with an excellent idea of how each person would prefer to be contacted. To be fair, if you’re in any doubt as to what to do, set up social media accounts and engage with your audience. It is a cost-effective way to get started and it allows for almost instant communication.
Once you have researched your target audience’s preferred social media channels, you can encourage them to ‘follow’ you, and add social media buttons to your company website (if you don’t have a website in 2018 then I don’t know what to tell you!) Start asking questions! There is no better way to learn than by finding out answers directly from your target audience. For example, find out the publications they read such as blogs, websites and newspapers, and try to get your business featured in them. Once you know where to go and how to communicate, making sales will become a whole lot easier.
An easy way to add content from YouTube or Vimeo
The new video content block allows you to easily share your video content in your email campaigns. You only need to copy and paste the URL to your video from your YouTube or Vimeo channel, and Response Wise will do the rest: it will automatically grab the cover image for the video, overlay a Play icon you can customize on top of it and automatically link it to your chosen video content.
How it works
You will now find a new “Video” tile in the “Content” panel. Drag it into your design to get started.
The “Content properties” section will ask you to provide a video URL from YouTube or Vimeo, the popular video hosting services that we currently support.
Once you insert a valid YouTube or Vimeo video URL, the content block in the editing panel will display the cover image for the video with a Play icon overlayed on top of it. You can edit the type, color, and size of the Play icon to change the way it looks.
Select the icon type that fits your design…
… choose the color that looks best with your cover image…
… and pick a size. You’re all done!
Notes about embedding video in email
This feature does not embed the actual video in the email, but rather links to it in a smart way.
The reason why the actual video content is not embedded into the message is that, unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well. Many email clients do not support embedded video yet, and Apple has been “back and forth” on video support in iOS over the years.
Additionally, many emails are opened on mobile devices and viewing videos on a mobile device can cause substantial data usage in addition to a poor user experience due to the quality of the data connection.
For all the talk about ‘customer loyalty’ being an essential part of marketing, few companies ever launch successful loyalty programs. Most consumers see through transparent loyalty points/cards programs and believe it isn’t worth their while. So what are the real barriers to loyalty and more importantly, how do you overcome them? Read on to find out more below.
1 – The Feeling Of Being Overlooked
Existing customers quickly get fed up with companies offering great deals to ‘new’ customers only. This is an acquisition program that alienates existing customers and usually ends in disaster. Remember, it takes 10+ new and uncommitted customers to make up for losing a loyal customer. To overcome this, simply offer special rewards for loyal customers; perhaps offer freebies or discounts once they buy a certain amount of your merchandise.
2 – Biased Data
It is very hard to collect data that is representative of your customer base without showing bias to one segment. Fail to engage the core customer with your loyalty program by making it difficult to sign up or utilize your card etc. means you won’t get a complete picture of your customers. A multi-channel approach is critical and you also need to get end-to-end behavioral data while also ensuring customer preference is subject to relevance.
3 – Using Customer Profitability As A KPI
Relying on customer profitability to discover their value is likely to be an inaccurate mode of measurement. For instance, is a customer who makes one purchase of $1,000 in two years more or less valuable than one who makes 10 purchases worth $800 in the same period? While the first customer spent more, the second customer is probably more ‘loyal’ and likely to use you when he makes a big purchase. You need to get a better understanding of customer ‘behavior’ to drive profit.
4 – Leaving It Up To Marketing
Most companies believe its marketing department is responsible for driving loyalty. However, for real success, only businesses where the CEO and executives are involved will succeed at becoming a genuinely customer-orientated organization which ensures the customer is #1.
5 – Opting For Loyalty Programs & Not A Loyalty Approach
In simple terms, a program can be part of a loyalty approach but a true loyalty approach is not part of any ‘program’. Instead, this approach should be the way you do business as your organization is dedicated to pleasing customers in a variety of ways. Companies that rely on loyalty programs will be dismissed as opportunistic whereas businesses with a loyalty approach will be deemed as ‘genuine’ by customers and this will lead to long-term loyalty.
In order to be a success, it is essential for a business to ask ‘how are we loyal to our customers’? To enjoy customer loyalty, you must place the customer at the center of your marketing approach instead of just adding in programs as an afterthought.
If you are a regular Response Wise reader then you’ll already know that the ROI earned from email marketing can be astronomical. According to a report by VentureBeat, email marketing could provide marketers with an ROI of $38 for every $1 spent! Clearly, this will not be the case for every single email marketer but it does provide an insight into the kind of success it is possible to achieve.
Email marketing is constantly evolving so you need to stay on your toes to keep up with these changes. What is working for you right now may not be effective 12 months down the line for example. However, it is possible to enjoy fantastic results by making a few simple additions to each email with the goal of optimizing them.
Segment To Provide Value
Your subscribers could be receiving dozens of marketing emails a day so creating a generically designed email with a less than compelling message spells doom for your campaign. Deliverability rates tend to suffer when subscribers believe the emails are irrelevant to their needs so you need to segment your list to ensure the right person receives the right message.
You can segment according to age, gender, location and interests among other things. No matter how well written your email is, if it isn’t about a topic that interests the recipient, it provides no value and is therefore of no use to them.
Include Several CTAs
Adding a single Call-To-Action at the end of an email won’t cut it. A cleverly designed marketing email will contain multiple CTAs that flow seamlessly within the content and don’t seem overly ‘salesy’. The fact is, the more links there are to click, the more likely it is that readers will click on one.
Your emails should contain content that is easily ‘sharable’ across different marketing channels with special attention paid to social media sites. All it takes is a handful of brand advocates to transform a company’s fortunes and when you give these loyalists the option of sharing your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., good things will happen.
When designing your emails, make sure there are clearly defined areas where subscribers can share the text via social media and email.
Ultimately, the success of your email marketing campaign will lie in your ability to effectively segment your target audience and create content that benefits them. Yet there are a couple of simple additions that can really boost your click-through rate and this will inevitably lead to more sales.
Getting customer feedback is critical not only for your marketing efforts but also for the future of your business. Understanding how your customer base views your brand, products and services not only enables you to increase the level of quality on offer, it also allows you to determine the products and services you need to introduce into the marketplace in order to keep customers happy.
In other words, the humble customer survey may well be the single best tool for collecting marketing data and we provide you with more crucial information on surveys below.
5 Reasons To Use Online Surveys
- Saves Time & Effort: You don’t need to lift a finger once you send out the emails since your customers provide the information.
- Easy Analysis: There is an abundance of software on the market that enables you to quickly and easily create charts and graphs to analyze the data.
- Honest Answers: As they are protected by the cloak of anonymity, customers can provide you with their true feelings about your company and what it offers (be prepared to learn some home truths).
- Company Value: Once you know what customers want, it is possible to confidently make changes to your business that places you ahead of your rivals.
- Marketing Strategy Information: Customer surveys give you all the data you could ever need when it comes to launching a brand new marketing strategy whether it involves content, social media or email marketing.
4 Ways To Improve Customer Surveys
- Responsive Design: Your survey emails must be responsive to all devices because at this moment in time, almost 20% of all surveys are opened on a mobile device; a number certain to increase.
- Choose The Right Template Design: There are countless great template designs available for surveys so pick the one that best suits your brand. It’s a good idea to choose a color/pattern that is close in appearance to your logo for brand consistency.
- Use A Drag & Drop Editor: This makes the entire creation process so much easier. An intuitive drag and drop editor is fun to use and saves a lot of time.
- Personalization: Personalized emails increase conversion rates by at least 10% so make sure you use an online survey that is integrated with your contact list. The feedback you receive can then be stored in your company’s email database. Then it is possible to create segments and personalize each email.
In order to provide customers with relevant email campaigns, you need to discover their needs, desires and concerns and personalize accordingly. There are few better ways to receive this information than through online customer surveys.
The Google Display Network (GDN) enables you to connect with customers using a range of ad formats across the Internet. At present, the network spans several million websites and is believed to reach over 90% of Internet users. Display is one of the two most important AdWords networks; Search is the other.
You will use Search when attempting to reach people who are interested in particular goods and services and have already searched for them. The point of the Display Network is to grab the attention of the prospect much earlier in the purchasing cycle. If you use it correctly, it can significantly increase the reach and revenue of your business; read on to find out how to get your GDN campaign spot on the first time around.
Target by Demographics
You can narrow down your target audience by dividing them into different demographics such as Age, Gender, Interests and much more. For example, if you’re selling weightlifting supplements, you know the most likely group to target are 18-34-year-old males with an emphasis on 18-24-year-olds. When you’re on the Display Network, choose Demographics – Targeting to get started.
You should play with this a bit to learn even more about your potential target audience.
Create Ads in Various Formats
This is anathema to many marketers and goes against conventional wisdom and the 80:20 rule. For instance, why should you spend money on image ads when you know that text ads outperform them consistently? Alas, you’ll find that some websites only support one format.
There are a lot of marketers who hate text ads and would never include them if possible. However, they know that some placements can only support text ads. They also know that if they are the only ones with a specific format, it will yield crucial exposure for their clients/businesses. For best results, create text and image ads but split them into separate ad groups.
An estimated two-thirds of ads on the GDN are text ads, so you clearly need to invest in more visual ads. The best ads are simple, easy to read and visual. If you lack the bandwidth to make visual ads, use Google’s display ad builder.
Which Targeting Method Should You Use?
There are several forms of display ad targeting although the following three are probably your best options.
A lot of marketers still prefer to go with this targeting method. If you wish to follow suit, select 10-15 keywords that best describe your business and its products/services. The tricky aspect of keyword targeting is finding the right phrases; they shouldn’t be too specific or too broad.
For instance, ‘plane tickets’ or ‘airline tickets’ are too general; a better example is ‘low-cost air tickets.’
Most marketing experts recommend that you start with remarketing first. Use Google Analytics or AdWords to place cookies on your site. When visitors leave, these cookies follow them around and provide them with targeted ads based on their online behavior.
This option gives advertisers an element of control over where their ads are placed. You can pick and choose the exact sites where you want the ads displayed. To begin, look for 5-10 websites that relate to the products/services you’re offering and serve ads on these placements.
Successful GDN Campaigns Stay ‘On Brand.’
Assuming you use image ads (and you should), it is important to ensure they match the look and feel of your website. A simple trick is to use a screenshot from one of your product pages to advertise the item. Otherwise, make sure the colors on your ad are the same as what you use on the site. It is pretty basic marketing; you want consumers to look at the ad and immediately link it to your website.
ABT – Always Be Testing!
The Google Display Network is enormous which means your reach is almost unlimited. Also, Google is continuously releasing new targeting methods and other features, so if you aren’t utilizing them, you could be missing out. First and foremost, you have to set a budget; if you have some money left over after your ads, use it to test. Most marketers recommend setting aside 10-20% of your total budget for the testing process.
Possible testing options include:
• Multiple landing page concepts.
• Analyzing the performance of different targeting options. An example would be how Keyword Targeting works against Placement Targeting.
• Split-test ad variations. This may involve using different copy, layouts, and images.
The sheer reach and potential of the Google Display Network mean you should put your faith in it and start increasing your company’s reach. It is eminently affordable and even if you have a relatively small budget, you could enjoy fantastic success because your target audience is on there just waiting to be wowed by your company.
Retargeting is a form of advertising designed to bring back visitors who have left your site. It is often used interchangeably with the term ‘remarketing’ although some experts suggest there are slight differences. Technically, ‘remarketing’ can be used to describe email marketing messages to those who have abandoned your shopping cart. However, it is okay to use ‘retargeting’ as an all-encompassing term.
It is an incredibly powerful marketing tool when done correctly as it can significantly boost your revenue. On average, only 2% of visitors to your website will become customers. With a great retargeting campaign, you could increase this to 10-15%. The practice involves placing cookies on a user’s browser which you can use to ‘follow’ them around the Internet anonymously.
7 Effective Retargeting Methods
There are a variety of retargeting methods you should consider during your campaign. For example, you should target individuals:
1. Based on searches conducted on Google, Bing and Yahoo!
2. Based on the products/services they viewed and the actions they took or did not take. For instance, individuals that abandoned a shopping cart.
3. Based on how they ended up on your website.
4. That interacted with your email programs.
5. That visited one of your ‘partner’ sites.
6. That interacted with distributed content.
7. That consumes similar content to your existing customers.
Finding Your Audience
The first step is to analyze your data to come up with a strategy. To launch an effective campaign, you’ll have to decide on the type of visitors you want to retarget in the first place. The most common way to start is #2 above where marketers target visitors based on product pages they visited, how far they got during the purchasing process and the products pages they did not visit.
You can also look for a more advanced customized strategy where you target people who visited one page but not another. An example would be individuals who made it as far as the first page of the checkout process but did not make a purchase.
Setting up the Codes
Once you’re satisfied with your target audience, look to generate the unique code that’s necessary to place cookies on the computers of your website’s visitors. It is now easier than ever to do this. It can be done on Google AdWords or Analytics and involves the placement of a ‘run of site’ code. This means one single code is placed on every page of your website.
No matter how you decide to generate the code, you need to put it on every page of the site and build custom combinations and audiences using URLs. For small businesses, it is best to use Google Analytics to set up the codes because it is free and easy to do which we will show you now.
Go to the Admin section of Analytics and click on Remarketing – Audiences and you’ll see some options.
Give your list an appropriate name and proceed. You may have to change the Analytics code.
Can I Only Place Retargeting Pixels on my Website?
There are tools such as ClickMagick which enable you to add a Perfect Audience, Facebook or any other retargeting pixel to any tracking link. This means you can add pixels on sites you don’t own when promoting affiliates. While companies like ClickMagick promise to make ‘every click more profitable,’ you have to careful not to overdo it.
A survey by InSkin Media in the UK revealed what the general public thinks about display retargeting. Just over half of the 1,600 respondents said they found retargeting ads useful at first but 55% admitted they would be less likely to purchase products if they come across the ads multiple times.
It is crucial that the retargeting ads you use are directly related to the products/services you sell. Otherwise, customers become furious:
As you can see, public irritation kicks in after the third such ad. As a result, you should check out the Frequency Capping feature in Analytics to ensure your users are not bombarded by ads.
If you’re new to retargeting, it is best to keep it simple at the start. Perhaps focus solely on visitors who abandoned the shopping cart or left after viewing a particular number of product pages. When you get used to the Retargeting feature in Analytics, you can try something more advanced with custom combinations.
Email is the #1 communication tool for most working professionals which is why email marketing is such a successful technique. The problem with email is that mistakes are extremely easy to make and they can have serious repercussions. While minor mistakes hurt productivity, major mistakes can cost you valuable clients or even your job. This article is all about what not to do with email so when you’re about to make an email blunder, you’ll be able to pull back from the brink of disaster!
Sending To The Wrong People
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard about individuals or businesses who sent an email complaining about a client… to the client! The result was a lot of anger and lost revenue. In email marketing, another example is sending irrelevant content to people on your mailing list. For example, you may send an email with the subject line ‘Ladies Night’ to the men on your list. The simple solution is to double-check the ‘to’ field because it’s extremely rare to be able to retrieve a sent email.
The Wrong Tone
It’s risky to use email to be humorous or sarcastic because it’s too easy to misunderstand. A University of Chicago study recorded sarcastic or funny messages and transcribed them into emails. Less than 60% of the email recipients in the study understood the tone of the message. Therefore, leave out the sarcasm when sending emails because the recipient probably won’t ‘get it’.
Only Sending ‘Needy’ Emails
Most people only send emails when they need or want something. Successful email marketers know that what they send has to provide value to the recipient so they typically have email campaigns where the content is designed to inform and only the final email in the sequence tries the ‘hard sell’. When you successfully use email to nurture relationships, people will look forward to hearing from you and this will only help to drive sales.
Not Asking For What You Need
The recipients of your emails are not mind-readers so it is essential to make clear requests. In marketing terms, this means telling your mailing list precisely what you want them to do in a concise yet clear call to action. The modern consumer is a busy individual and doesn’t have time for puzzles and games; get to the point or lose another sale.
The email blunders mentioned above happen in everyday life as well as in the world of marketing. Use these tips for better email communication whether you’re contacting a colleague or a customer.
In basic terms, the sales funnel describes the sales process from first content to purchase. It is used as a visual aid and resembles a leaky funnel where sales opportunities are dropped into. There will be occasions when these opportunities need to be taken away from the funnel because the customers are either uninterested or deemed to be outside your target audience. The stages of the funnel refer to the likelihood of a customer making a purchase and the sales opportunity increases the further down the funnel you go.
Developing your Sales Funnel
When a sales opportunity presents itself, your goal is to remove all road blocks preventing a possible sale. After removing this barrier, you move on to the next stage and closer to the final goal. These issues include customer uncertainty about your brand, the value of your product and whether or not it is within their budget. By developing sales metrics appropriate for your business, you will be able to manage the sales funnel.
Sales Funnel Stages
- Lead: This refers to someone that fits into your target audience but you have not yet been in contact with.
- Prospect: This is a potential customer that has expressed an interest in what you have to offer. This means you have had a conversation and the prospect has been given information on what to do next in the process.
- Qualified Prospect: This is the most testing part of the funnel as it involves you verifying that the prospect has a need for your product, has the budget and sees value in what you sell.
- Commitment: By now, the prospect is a committed customer and has made verbal agreement to make a purchase.
- Transaction: This is when the deal has been signed, sealed and delivered!
Going back to the qualified prospect part of the sales funnel, you need to use lead scoring in order to rank and prioritize your leads. For example, you may find that those who register for your webinar are more likely to pay for your services than those who sign up for email newsletters. In this case, you will pour more resources into the webinar than you would have done otherwise.
Basic personal information is necessary of course but you should also look to get details of the professional occupation, location, company size and budget. ‘Score’ each visitor’s interaction with your brand; the closer someone moves towards a purchase, the more points you assign to that customer.
With a well-drawn out sales funnel, you can quickly get rid of irrelevant leads that will end up costing you money in marketing and focus on those who are likely to become paying customers. This reduces costs, increases ROI and allows you to become more dedicated to prospects that will prop up your business.
It’s a mistake to believe that your email marketing efforts end once you have converted visitors into paying customers. In fact, you should believe it is only the beginning because once you have customers; it is much easier and less expensive to retain them than to bring in new custom. In fact, it can cost 7 times more to bring in new customers than to keep old ones yet companies habitually shift their focus away from customer retention.
What Is Customer Retention?
This process isn’t just about keeping customers; it involves actively trying to keep them happy by ensuring they have a great experience which coerces them into spreading the word about how great your products/services are. When you focus on existing customers then bringing in new consumers almost takes care of itself.
This is where triggered email marketing comes in; it is a way to identity what is troubling these customers (pain points) and make a difference. Behavioral marketing involves the personalization of marketing based on the data you collect relating to the activity of users. Here are a few ways to use this strategy and retain a high percentage of your existing customers.
- Advocacy Program: Send an email to new customers inviting them to join and offer reward points for signing up. Make sure the advocacy program has expiry dates to ensure the recipients of the email take quick action.
- Promo Code: This classic strategy still works! Offer a thank you gift or special coupon code once customers have made a purchase. The gifts on offer depend on your business and what you can afford. If you sell something with an annual plan for example; you could offer 20% off.
- Holiday Gifts: Holiday marketing is extremely popular so offer a gift inside the email to make sure your company stands out from the rest. Corporate giants such as Amazon and Starbucks send e-gift cards to customers so if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for everyone else!
- Market Research Survey: As well as gaining important insights into your company through customer input, these emails can be great ways to retain customers. Simply ask customers for their opinions in a short survey (shorter emails of this nature tend to have better response rates) and offer them a spot in a draw for a big prize like a $500 voucher or vacation in the Caribbean. This gets customers excited about your brand and may even cause them to spread the news about your generosity.
The above is just a handful of retention email strategies you can use to keep a loyal fan base and ensure you are forced to spend less on new customer marketing campaigns.