5 B2B Marketing Trends You Need To Embrace In 2015

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Media

Although it would be far better if you were already up on these trends at the start of the year, it is not too late to catch up on the following marketing tactics as long as you start right now!

1 – Mobile Marketing

If you don’t already understand the impact of mobile on marketing, perhaps you are in the wrong business! By the beginning of 2014, more people were accessing the Internet from mobile devices than desktops and this gap is growing as there are now more than 1 billion Smartphones in use. You need to embrace responsive web design because mobile Internet users expect ease of use when accessing any website.

2 – Marketing Automation

This timesaving measure will soon dominate the marketing realm. It already helps increase existing conversion rates by 50% so start looking for ways to integrate your existing marketing tools. Marketing automation systems are looking to combine CRM, content management and email marketing into holistic tools which work to deliver the right content to consumers at the right time.

3 – Paid Placements

Get ready to open your wallet because paid placements will be needed to convince difficult to reach business consumers that your brand is the one they should spend their cash on. There are sponsored content placements available on the major social networks now and they outperform brands looking to continue taking advantage of free reach. You will need to tighten up your content to make it more educational and more to the point. This means more explainer videos and infographics.

4 – Microtargeting

This means getting to grips with personalization which will allow you to find the perfect subniche to market to. Microtargeting is all about finding small yet profitable segments of your target audience and the goal is to earn a very high conversion rate. To get involved in microtargeting, you need to learn more about your audience and really delve into their lifestyles and motivations.

5 – Hire A Professional Writer

With a growing emphasis on brand identity, marketing companies will need to bring in professional writers as brands will become associated with the quality of content they produce. You should have an editorial team which creates style guides and maintains the highest standards. In most cases, you will need to find high quality freelance writers; in this case, make sure he/she receives the necessary internal documentation to create the required content.

If you’re not already following the above marketing trends, start moving now and get back on track in 2015.

Innovations That Will Dictate Email Marketing’s Future

Posted on Mar 18, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Media

As other forms of digital marketing get touted as the ‘next big thing’, the demise of email marketing is said to be imminent. Yet on every occasion so far, the latest fad has been confined to the dustbin of history while email marketing continues to be a way of reaching huge audiences and it provides companies with a staggering ROI.

It has become obvious that email marketing will continue to be important and innovations will shape its future rather than destroy it. Today, we look at developments that could change the way we use email marketing.

Integration

The majority of marketers believe email marketing will be fully integrated with other channels by 2019. The value of email will become almost entirely linked to its performance when used with other channels but to say it will become 100% integrated in such a short time frame is a tad ambitious. There are many challenges facing integration which should take longer than 4 years to solve.

Automation

Relatively few companies properly use the power of automation; while it has led to an increase in the volume of emails sent, not many businesses go the extra mile and create automated triggers. However, as email marketing will become more integrated with other forms of marketing; automated campaigns will be a certainty because of the time they save. As well as sending out emails based on a recipient’s behavior, marketers will be able to focus on other things.

Personalization

The ‘spray and pray’ tactics of yesteryear are now known to be outdated as customers become more particular about the type of content they read. Almost 80% of marketers believe all email communication with customers will be personalized within the next 4-5 years. This isn’t as far-fetched as the integration ambition because over 30% of companies already use personalization as a tactic in their email marketing strategies.

Wearable Technology

There are expected to be 100 million wearables worn by people in 2016. Google is planning to create wearable ready Gmail clients which are to be included in Android devices in the next few years. These wearables will make it easier than ever for people to access the Internet and check their emails on the move. This technology will make it possible for email marketers to reach people during all their waking hours which mean more chances to make a sale!

These are just some of the innovations set to change the way we market using emails. Get on board or risk being left behind.

5 Barriers To Loyalty & How You Can Overcome Them

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

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.

7 Budget-Friendly Marketing Strategies For Businesses Of Any Size

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Media

Attracting your target audience doesn’t have to be an expensive process. The Internet is the great equalizer insofar as it enables small businesses with a clever marketing plan to enjoy a similar level of exposure to a giant corporation with an almost limitless budget. Here are some cheap and cheerful ways to gain online exposure without breaking the bank.

  1. Video Marketing: YouTube is phenomenally popular and studies have shown that adding a video on there can cause your website to shoot to the first page of the Google rankings within a day of posting it. Additionally, those who see your video online are almost three times more likely to become a customer than those who don’t.
  2. Case Studies: Adding details of happy clients to your website is a great way to boost business. Simply create a standard information form and get past clients to fill it in. Make sure the client adds a comment on how happy he/she was with your service.
  3. Write On A Niche Blog: Identify up to five blogs you would like to be featured on, contact the owner and pitch a few ideas that will help add value to the blog. This helps spread the word about your company as you get to post a link back to your website as well as coming across as an expert in your niche.
  4. Get Listed On Google Maps/Local: This free listing adds credibility as customers know your business exists and is not another scam. It also helps you rank higher in the local search engine rankings.
  5. Content Curation: This is the process of compiling useful information before presenting it in a meaningful way while also organizing it around a certain theme. While this is not easy work, it is very rewarding as you can quickly create dozens of informative blog posts that enhance brand identity.
  6. Create An e-Book: You can now upload a digital book for free on Amazon as the online giant takes a slice of the profits. Your e-book should cover the burning issues in the industry and needs to be among your best work because ultimately, it is a lead generation tool that encourages readers to visit your website for more information.
  7. Endorsement: Find a local celebrity and get him/her to endorse your product/service. These individuals can be ‘regular’ people such as teachers or residents that have recently done something newsworthy. These people should be easy to contact and you can ask them to try out your service/product for free before leaving honest feedback.

In reality, there are dozens of ways to market for free or a relatively low cost online. The trick is finding your target audience and marketing in a manner which makes your company/service/product seem to be the most appealing on the market.

How To Create A Confident Elevator Pitch

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Media

The legendary ‘elevator pitch’ is a 60 second overview of the product/service you’re trying to sell. Your goal is to catch the listener’s attention in this short timeframe and it’s a challenge for even the most experienced marketer. The key is to be concise yet compelling; you need t remove the fluff and leave only substance but how do you accomplish this?

There are a few hard and fast rules when it comes to developing a masterful elevator pitch which I outline below.

Know Your Goal

What is the objective of your elevator pitch? Are you looking to inform possible clients about your organization or do you have a brilliant product idea you want to pitch to a company executive? Perhaps you simply want to develop a snappy speech that helps explain what you do for a living? Whatever the goal, identify it before writing your speech or the result will be a garbled mess.

Explain What You Do

A great elevator pitch is basically a condensed version of outstanding web copy. Begin the pitch by outlining what your company does and focus on the problems you solve for customers. Now is a great time to throw in a relevant statistic because people are often impressed by a few facts and figures.

What Is Your USP?

Your Unique Selling Proposition must come shining through when making an elevator pitch. This highlights why your organization and its services/products are different from everyone else’s. It’s best to add in the USP after explaining what you do as it will carry more weight. Remember, the modern consumer is spoiled for choice so your USP had better be special.

Involve The Listener

Everyone likes to feel included so the second your USP has been mentioned, ask the listener a question about themselves (or their company if applicable). It’s best to ask a question that has a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and make sure you’re prepared to answer!

Consider what you want people to remember most about you and your company. Above all, your pitch should excite you when you rehearse it. If you aren’t amped up afterwards, how can you expect your audience to be? After writing your pitch, practice it relentlessly and cut out any parts that don’t flow seamlessly. While most experts recommend an elevator pitch of 60 seconds or less, if you can nail it in 20-30 seconds, you have a better chance of hooking the prospect.

 

 

5 Conversion Metrics That Make All the Difference in Your Marketing Campaign

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Austin, TX, Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, News, SEO/SEM, Social Media

No matter how good you think your marketing campaign is, you need conversion metrics to find out the extent of your success or failure. There seem to be dozens of measurements used by marketers but I have narrowed it down to 5 of the best.

1 – Bounce Rate

This shows you how many people leave your website more or less immediately after arriving on your landing page. A high bounce rate indicates you have been unsuccessful when it comes to determining your target audience. Your keyword strategy may need work and perhaps a lot of visitors are landing on a sales page when all they want is information.

2 – Repeat Visitors

The modern online consumer has all the power and uses it to perform research before considering a purchase. While you may feel as if ‘new visitors’ is the all-important metric, returning visitors are more likely to purchase from you. Why else would they keep coming back? If nothing else, they like your website and the information you provide; the next step is to push them down the sales funnel.

3 – Impressions

This refers to the number of people that see your ad once it becomes live. Impressions will show if you whether or not your ad is reaching the audience size you are hoping for. It is an important metric when it comes to increasing brand awareness. If you are hoping to improve your number of impressions, your main goal will be to ensure prospects see your company name.

4 – Abandoned Cart

This is the percentage of purchases that are abandoned right before completing the sale. It is very frustrating and if you have a high abandoned cart rate, it’s imperative that you find out why. In most instances, you will need to make the checkout process even faster; if a customer has to overcome too many hurdles, he/she may decide it’s not worth the effort. See Amazon for an example of an effective checkout system.

5 – Conversion Rate

I have saved the most obvious metric for last. A conversion is an action that has value for your business. You may be trying to convert visitors into email subscribers or existing subscribers into paying customers. The bottom line is that you need to bump this figure up. If you have earned 5,000 impressions and have converted 700 people into customers, this means your conversion rate is 14%. Whether this is an acceptable rate depends entirely on your niche.

To enjoy success in marketing, you need data analytics. I recommend using Google Analytics as it offers detailed analysis and a wide variety of important metrics.

Making The Most Of Common Email Blunders

Posted on Nov 4, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

 

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.

Start Your Holiday Planning Now

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most eagerly anticipated retail events of the year and both dates are a wonderful opportunity for marketing teams to prove their worth. While both events seem far away right now, you need to begin your holiday marketing planning as soon as possible because your rivals are certainly busy creating strategies.

To put into context what’s at stake, Cyber Monday 2013 resulted in sales of almost $2.3 billion and this figure is likely to rise since the 2013 figure was a 16% increase on the 2012 sales figure. Here’s what you need to do now to prepare for the holidays.

Create Strong Subject Lines

Though shoppers are motivated by deals, you shouldn’t necessarily rely on details of discounts to make up your subject lines. With so many competitors to worry about, your subject line has to distinguish your offers from the rest of the market which means creating headlines that appeal to the emotion shoppers have for certain brands. I would recommend avoiding the word ‘free’ in subject lines as this comes across as spam content. If you start now, you should have time to split-test before the big days arrive.

Market Research

You need a strong understanding of existing and potential customers so you better start researching this instant! While many marketers rate Cyber Monday ahead of Black Friday, it seems that over 80% of Black Friday customers want to receive email updates and almost 60% of them want mobile updates. Strategic use of the information you receive will help you profit from these shopping bonanzas.

High Volume – Short Space Of Time

Your holiday planning campaigns will involve an enormous volume of emails being sent out in a short space of time. For instance, you may need to send emails to 500,000 customers regarding a sale with a 3 hour window. Is your email infrastructure capable of sustaining this level of sending? If not, your recipients will end up getting the emails when the sales are finished.

Real Time Analytics

Too many email marketers make the mistake of thinking their emails will be safely in inboxes within minutes of being sent. However, most marketers will not get the requisite data to tell them if their messages are being sent out on time. Without access to real time analytics, your emails could be backed up in queues for hours without you realizing it. You must have this data to develop an effective campaign; this is especially the case when you are running time sensitive offers.

When performed correctly, email campaigns centered around holiday retail events can be spectacularly effective. As a result, you have to plan far ahead if you want to be among the most successful companies in your industry.

How You Can Use Social Media To Make Sales

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Media


The world of e-commerce is a multi-billion dollar industry which is growing rapidly. The impact of social media on sales figures is a hotly disputed topic with some industry experts claiming social media accounts for only 1% of online retail. Yet I have personally heard of salespeople who chased social media leads and landed sales of over $100,000! It is almost impossible to fully ascertain the impact social media has on sales though I’m certain the 1% mooted by experts is completely incorrect.

Find The Best Ways To Connect

Obviously, your target market need to be social media users or else you can’t expect to make major profit through social media marketing. Facebook has changed its algorithm so only brands willing to spend on advertising will get any publicity.

Tools like Instagram and Pinterest help increase visibility and sales and the best way to use social media sites is to engage with the community. You need to make a connection by presenting your products and services in a fun and interesting way while offering posts and images that appeal to the lifestyle of your target market.

Create A Persona

The modern consumer does not like being dictated to so instead of going for a quick sale, you need to build up a personal account, engage in conversations with members of the community where your target audience resides and understand the expectations of the community. Create a persona that is trustworthy and likeable within the community and show them you are an amicable and reputable individual representing a high quality company.

Customer Engagement

You’ll really get the full benefit of social media sales if you show customers you care about them by focusing on solutions to their problem. Rather than boast about why your product is awesome, look to showcase the benefits of what you have to offer. Listen to what people are saying on social media and you could end up starting a conversation that leads to a sale without having to make a cold call.

Create a Facebook group relating to your products/services and invite others to join. Then you should send targeted messages to the most active members of your group. On LinkedIn, join groups that your clients are members of and on Twitter, use the tweets of prospects as trigger points to start a conversation.

While the exact impact of social media on sales is impossible to tell, there is no doubt that with hundreds of millions of social media network users, the potential for sales is extraordinary.

Getting Your Message Across On Gmail’s Promotion Tab

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Gmail’s interface changes caused widespread panic when they were first rolled out but contrary to what some people might think, email marketing has not been dealt a major blow! Gmail is testing out a new grid inbox visual for its Promotions tab, one of the several new tabs included in its sorting system. In the event you haven’t yet noticed this change, there is no need to stress yourself out as I have included a few useful tips to help your messages to distinguish themselves from the crowd on the Gmail Promotions tab.

Utilizing images allows you to decide the emails you want to ignore or open. The Promotions tab grid view has four elements you need to be aware of:

  • Featured Image: Make sure the image chosen is 233px wide and 161px high, utilize JPEG, PNG or GIF images and use the featured image markup code in HTML of the message to designate the featured image. Make sure the featured image has alt text behind it. If your image is too small or can’t be found by Gmail, the alt text is displayed instead; this featured image is a useful call-to-action.
  • Sender Image: As long as you have a Google+ page that has been verified and associated with the domain, you will find a Google+ image displayed on the lower right side of the featured image. If you don’t have a verified Google+ page, the first letter of the sender’s name will be displayed.
  • Sender Name: Please remember there is a 20 character limit so consider shortening this field if this limitation is cutting off the sender name or means branding can no longer be easily recognized.
  • Subject Line: This has a 75 character limit and frankly, you need to convey the point of the message within the first 30 characters while the remaining characters are your call-to-action.

Additional Tips

When it comes to dealing with Gmail’s changes as a whole, keep in mind the following:

  • You need to focus on strategy rather than classification. Concentrate on the marketing instead of trying to change how Gmail classifies its messages.
  • Always pay attention to subject lines or risk being ignored.
  • Track open rates closely to improve open and inbox placement rates.

By placing all promotional messages in one tab, Gmail has given you a target audience with a propensity to purchase. Users that click on the Promotions tab are clearly looking for marketing messages which is a welcome change from the old days where you had to hit the inbox of prospects and hope to stand out.

 

 

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