If I gave you $1 to spend in your business, where would it go?
Your first instinct might be to invest in Facebook ads, or maybe to sock it away and save for the latest marketing software.
But the highest return on investment (ROI) might come from a surprising source: your email marketing.
The Data & Marketing Association said that in 2015, for each $1 spent on email marketing, companies made $38 in return.
That’s a 3,800% ROI!
If you want to achieve this result (and who wouldn’t?), you need to figure out if your emails and campaigns are ACTUALLY driving business-building results.
To do that, you need to pay attention to four email marketing metrics. Yes, just four.
These email metrics are UNIVERSAL and will help you measure the success of your emails so you can create effective email marketing campaigns no matter…
Today, I’m sharing…
Let’s get right to it!
So why only four metrics?
Each of these metrics corresponds with a specific, high-leverage part of your email.
If performance dips, reviewing which of these numbers changed can help you understand EXACTLY what happened and HOW to fix it.
The four metrics are…
Let’s dig into each of these and go over what they are and how you’ll use them in your own email marketing.
First off, we have Deliverability, also known as delivery rate, which is calculated by dividing Delivered Emails by Sent Emails.
Deliverability tells you what percentage of emails sent actually make it to the inbox. In other words, it clues you into how likely people are to GET your email.
In general, deliverability gives you a sense of how well your emails pass the “spam test” for Email Service Providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Yahoo.
If your emails don’t use flagged words and are well received by your audience, your deliverability should be quite high. A healthy deliverability percentage should be in the upper 90th percentile.
Be sure to pay attention to emails with low deliverability. This is a great way to identify language that ESPs don’t like, such as…
The next metric is one most people are familiar with…
Your email’s Open Rate tells you how likely people are to READ your email and is determined by dividing Unique Opens by Received Emails.
This measures the frequency with which your emails are opened, and thus read.
Open rate is one of the easiest metrics to affect, making it a well-known metric that is a frequent blog topic, including for us.
Open rate describes how well your subject line encourages your email list to actually take the time to read your email.
Since you’ve got roughly 30 characters to catch someone’s eye with a subject line, punchy copy can be the difference between 700 and 7,000 people reading your email.
You should use open rate as a barometer of how well your messaging resonates with your target audience.
The third metric is arguably the most crucial because it most closely correlates with sales…
Click-through Rate tells you how likely your audience is to ENGAGE with your email, which means it indicates the likelihood that someone will click on a link within your email.
The formula to calculate click-through rate is the number of Unique Clicks divided by the number of Unique Opens.
Click-through rate is so important because it measures whether or not people are actually taking the desired actions with your emails.
Clicks in an email are what drive…
A low click-through rate usually indicates that your email copy is falling flat and is a sign of a weak or unclear call-to-action (CTA).
An easy fix to improve click-through rate is to avoid over-selling your products or services through email and instead focus on getting people to click your link.
The email body’s only job is to sell the click.
Trying to sell your product in there as well means you’ll come up with subpar performance every time.
The last metric is one almost no one thinks about but may give you the most insight into how your email list feels about you and your email strategy.
Disengagement Rate tells you how likely people are to HATE your email.
This can be computed by adding Spam Complaints to Unsubscribes and dividing the sum by Unique Opens.
Your emails will always drive some people away – you can’t please everyone and trying to will leave your business stuck in neutral.
However, you do need to make sure that the vast majority of readers on your list like what you have to say.
That’s why you want to make sure you keep an eye on your disengagement.
With disengagement rate, you can pinpoint messaging that doesn’t work, and cut that out of your toolbox.
You absolutely must keep your average disengagement rate below 0.15% for your emails, or you’ll start to see your deliverability drop.
You’ve got your four metrics, as well as the basic uses for each of them! Now that you know what you should be tracking, let’s talk about how to actually make that happen.
Not all emails you send are the same – and the distinction is key when it comes to measuring our four metrics.
There are two different categories of email, but this distinction has nothing to do with the content of the emails. Instead, these categories describe how emails are delivered to customers.
The two categories are broadcast emails and automated emails.
Let’s start with…
Broadcast emails are manually set up, scheduled, and sent out of your email marketing software to many people at once.
These are mass communication emails, closer to a piece of mail you get from your favorite clothing store with a 20% off coupon, like this one from Old Navy with the subject line, “SNAGGED IT: $12 SHORTS”:
And from a metrics perspective, broadcast emails are easy to evaluate; since all the emails are sent at the same time, data about these emails is reported in aggregate.
Here’s an example of a broadcast email report we would get out of our email client, Maropost.
You can see three of our four metrics are automatically generated…
And while the platform doesn’t actively provide Disengagement rate, it can be easily calculated from the formula provided earlier.
Automated emails, on the other hand, act more like a personal letter.
They are customized to the individual recipient, usually containing more details about a customer and their interests.
These emails are sent out based on actions customers have taken – they can be triggered to send when customers do things like…
Here’s an example of an automated email from Paragon Apparel with the subject line, “Did you see something you liked?” after visiting one of their product pages:
While the higher personalization means these emails typically perform better than broadcasts, they are also more difficult to track and evaluate because data isn’t always automatically aggregated for these and reporting is provided at a contact level.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
This granular reporting makes it hard to see the big picture and evaluate performance because you have to compare hundreds or thousands of individual reports.
But you need to track BOTH of these kinds of emails if you want to level up your email marketing.
To level up your email marketing, you MUST track it…
We’ve covered why tracking broadcast emails is actually quite easy, meaning your only job with broadcasts is to put the metrics into your email marketing data warehouse (more on this later).
But tracking automated emails, or broadcast emails without proper reporting, is much trickier.
Since tracking isn’t happening within the platform, we have to look to other solutions to get our answers…
If you want fast and easy tracking and don’t mind spending a little money, there are two great solutions from which to choose.
Email on Acid is the more robust of the two options, with click tracking included in the service.
Unfortunately, neither piece of software reports on deliverability, but even so, these are the fastest and easiest way to get the bulk of your analysis up and running.
You can use event tracking in Google Analytics to report on email opens, meaning you’ll have your email performance data right there alongside your website information.
This great article from Dyn walks through how to set this tracking up step-by-step.
To track clicks, we’ll turn to Bitly, friend of social media managers everywhere because of its ability to shorten links.
Of course, email marketers can use it to track link clicks as well as shorten links.
Create a Bitly for every link you include in your email – the Bitly platform walks you through how to do this when you sign up for your free account.
By doing this, you’ll be able to compare total clicks, as tracked in Bitly, to total opens, as tracked in Google Analytics, giving you click-through rate.
And you can compare opens to emails sent, which should be easy to pull out of any email platform.
Deliverability and disengagement won’t be possible, but you’ll have WAY MORE insight than most with this information.
Now that you know how to track all the information, we need to discuss how you’re going to store all of it, and how this will help you avoid a mistake many marketers make…
(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)
When your email platform provides all of the metrics for analysis in a neat package, it’s easy to conclude that all your work is done – just check individual email metrics and move on to the next thing.
This is a HUGE trap (that many people fall into) when it comes to email marketing because it feels efficient at the time.
To build a sustainable, long-term email strategy, you need to take any data you get in your business and hold it yourself.
There are two key reasons this is critical.
The first is that platforms come and go.
Your business will grow and its needs will change over time, meaning that a migration is almost assuredly in your future. Storing data externally makes it easy to be prepared when the time comes.
Take us for example…
Since 2011, DigitalMarketer has leveraged FOUR different email platforms.
If I wanted to compare a campaign we ran in 2011 or 2012 to one we ran today, or just see what the year-over-year trend in open rate was, I’d be out of luck without our platform-agnostic historical data.
Keeping all your information in one place, ideally one that lends itself to data modeling, helps you turn your data into a decision-making tool.
A simple chart looking at dates and deliverability can help you track how we’ll you’re maintaining compliance over time and whether or not you need to adjust your messaging.
The other important reason is that having a unified place where all this data lives makes it much easier to analyze and evaluate big chunks of data. You can track trends over time, by category or content of email.
Clearly, it’s important to have somewhere you can track these four metrics and the emails they represent that…
…but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated, as we’ll talk about next.
The fancy term for this external storage is a “data warehouse,” but it can be as simple and low-tech as a spreadsheet.
Here’s what the data warehouse DigitalMarketer uses looks like:
You can grab a copy of the tracking sheet DigitalMarketer uses here.
Just visit that link, then click File > Make a Copy, and you’ll have one you can edit added to your Google Drive!
This sheet will make it EASY to track BOTH broadcast and automated emails and get you started with your very own data warehouse.
Tracking broadcast emails is self-explanatory – you just plug the performance for each individual email into each row.
For automated emails, you’ll want to add an update to the sheet every time you get 100 new clicks on each email. That way, you’ll have enough data to give you representative performance metrics.
Now that you know your metrics and your tracking and organizing them, there’s one step left.
Figuring out how your emails stack up can be very tricky.
The biggest question I get from people about their email marketing metrics is, “How do I know if my results are good or bad?” Followed by, “What kind of performance do you see at DigitalMarketer?”
Unfortunately, that’s not too useful.
…won’t help YOU decide how YOU’RE doing.
You need to look closer to home.
Thankfully, there are two great resources to help you define what success looks like.
The first resource is other people in your industry.
If you’re a law firm, knowing how email marketing generally performs for other businesses offering legal services will give you a great benchmark for what success should look like.
This data will be more FAR MORE useful than the law firm comparing itself to a clothing store.
The same goes for all industries – if you know the general habits of people in your audience, you can evaluate your results.
So, how do you go about this?
Luckily, Mailchimp has created the best resource ever for taking a peek into your peers’ email marketing metrics.
This resource provides averaged email performance data for 46 different industries, ranging from Arts and Artists all the way to Vitamin supplements.
And because Mailchimp sends over 10 billion emails a month, the information is extremely representative of behavior patterns.
Here’s a look at some of that data:
The other resource you should use to evaluate your performance is your own data…
Looking at past performance is one of the best ways to get a sense of where your email marketing program is at the moment.
To turn your historical data into something usable, you need to compile it.
This can be done pretty easily – generate averages for your four-metrics looking at the past…
…to see what direction performance is trending and to come up with benchmarks to compare current performance to.
Whether or not your email marketing is where you want it to be today, the only way to start improving it is to understand where you are at the moment.
Leveraging these two different sets of data will give you reasonable expectations and help you understand how your email marketing shapes up.
In addition to the details on how to improve individual metrics, making your audience more or less specific is the next best way to improve performance.
To beat your baseline, try experimenting with a smaller list, targeted by topics you know they’re interested in.
And experimenting with the email’s subject line and body copy is a great way to boost performance.
Focus on improving one metric at a time – that way you can figure out what’s causing the lift.
What’s next, you might ask?
Now that you’ve got the basics of tracking and using your email marketing metrics, you can take it one step further by leveraging your broadcast emails to improve your automated emails.
Once you have a good sense of what exceptional performance looks like, you can cherry-pick your best broadcast emails and turn them into automated emails.
That way, every time you send a broadcast, you’re also working in your email marketing laboratory – testing and improving your campaigns!
And by keeping a close eye on these four metrics, you can figure out how to create and maintain effective email marketing campaigns.
(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)Read More
The modern marketing landscape is not what it used to be. Creative thinkers and innovative “ideas people” are still at the heart of the department, but it has become a measurable, monitorable and data-driven discipline. To the most creative marketers this may sound like a negative thing; but in reality, it just means all of their ideas and innovations can be tracked, tweaked, improved and proven, making a real return on investment (ROI) demonstrable internally to the broader business (and especially up the food chain of decision makers).
To better understand the impact and opportunities of this marketing evolution, let’s explore two key developments that I think will impact marketing’s future.
For decades marketers have had to find ways to prove the need for their campaigns. The new methods they use, and the huge uplift in the volume of data available, makes this much easier than ever before. With so much data there are always new ways to grow, adapt, and change, to deliver the best possible results and answer executive concerns.
Marketing is no longer just about how creative you are. As customer experience becomes a key brand differentiator, marketers have to harness the data available to them to succeed. Part of the modern marketer’s role is knowing their customer—inside and out, personalizing their experience, and ensuring they come back for more.
Careers in marketing have never been more exciting, now they require a blend of creative skill backed by analytics expertise, data-driven research, and the ability to produce provable results. To make this shift, it’s critical that marketers understand and utilize the latest technologies, designed to aid marketer in every stage of their process, from targeting customers and analyzing their data, to automating content and engagements to suit the customer’s needs.
Data cannot be ignored. It has always played a role in marketing campaigns and decisions, but as we are now able to access more data more of the time it is a waste to not utilize it to deliver better customer experiences. Streamlining marketing strategies and processes in a way that embraces both data and technology falls under the coverall term ‘marketing operations‘.
Marketing operations is where all aspects of any marketing campaign come together and are organized effectively for success. Technology is a key driver of marketing operations. Why? MarTech has become so sophisticated that it is essential for marketers to incorporate the right applications and software into their marketing stack. The change in modern marketing is driven by technology, so while creativity is essential to such aspects as campaign planning or content creation, it should be controlled and informed by the insights found through their MarTech solutions, ideally with a foundation of an Engagement Platform that serves as the system of record.
87% of modern marketers already accept that technology is improving performance at their companies, and the scientific edge to their roles has meant a shift in expectation and the nature of their work. However, this shift is for the better as the right MarTech solutions and processes ensure that all work (creative or not) is measured and tested, allowing for more precise and targeted campaigns. In turn, this means the modern marketer can be even more creative as they deliver more ROI and tangible business value. It’s a win-win.
Spending on big data technology is set to exceed $57 billion this year, which shows just how committed companies are to getting the most out of every aspect of data. Marketers need to take note—data is driving their careers: Used well, data can accelerate career paths; badly interpreted data can stunt career progression. Both real-time and historical data can be used to inform and develop effective campaigns.
Data makes tracking every marketing campaign easier and more convenient. Harnessing real-time data allows for adjustments in-campaign at any time, or even in the planning stage of the next campaign by leveraging the learnings and trends identified from previous campaigns. And as mentioned, proving the success of a marketing campaign to those at the top of a company is so much easier when you have hard evidence backing up your claims.
Alongside big data and data-driven marketing is the concept of The Internet of Things (IoT), which further proves the essential and integral nature of technology in the marketing world. The more IoT technology is integrated, wearables become more common, and beacon technology is used, the more data marketers have to feed on, making it increasingly important to not only have an Engagement Platform to orchestrate all these touchpoints, but one that has a robust ecosystem of complementary technology integrations (so your technology is ‘speaking the same language’).
The typical marketer of ten years ago, or even five years ago, may not have been able to predict how different their jobs would look in 2017. However, marketing has always been an evolving discipline, with the move from print to online, text to video, and now with the incorporation of data and in-depth analysis as key to their roles.
There is nothing ‘fluffy’ and ambiguous about the modern marketer’s role. Yes, creativity is used to push forward and capture the audience attention, but it should be measured, tested and released once it is sure to succeed according to the data and research available.
Embracing marketing technology is absolutely essential for the modern marketer. Building an effective marketing stack for each individual business takes time and energy. But, once in place, it can push the business in the right direction and increase marketing success. That’s not to even mention the benefits it can offer in terms of time and capital saving.
Marketing operations cannot function effectively without MarTech, and the modern marketer cannot perform their role properly without embracing both. A blend of creative talent and a technologist’s knowledge must be combined to effectively market for growth.
Marketing is not going to go backward. There won’t be a return to the idea that the marketing department is ‘winging it’ and just trying out any creative idea. Modern marketing will become more entrenched and driven by data and technology, and it is essential the professionals involved embrace and utilize the resources available to them. The data and technology are there, it comes down to marketers ability to make the most of them. This way, marketers will not just safe-guard their jobs, but maintain their seat at the table.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) Cuts Costs, Speeds Workflows, and Saves Time
Zebra Technologies has solved a tremendously difficult problem that many manufacturing companies share — the organization of thousands of digital assets into one, easily accessible system. Zebra, which makes mobile printers and computing devices, needed a digital filing cabinet capable of managing everything from product specs and images to catalog entries and sales slicks. What’s more, all of those assets had to be readily available in different languages, and for various markets, customer segments, and device formats.
To bring order to the chaos, Zebra implemented a digital asset management (DAM) system — one that would enable the company to find and deliver personalized customer content, on demand. Now, distributors and sales reps have ready access to the materials required for product marketing and promotion. The end result is greater efficiency in content delivery, lower costs, and higher ROI.
The Content Flood
Implementing a DAM solution helps manufacturers align content to product marketing and customer-targeting needs. This is particularly important when it comes to delivering content with pinpoint accuracy, at precisely the right customer touchpoint.
The ROI rationale for better content management is clear. In just a few years, buyers have become five times more dependent on digital information when making a purchasing decision. They also interact with an average of 10.4 pieces of content before buying. Moreover, according to IDC, 71 percent of marketers create more than 10 times the amount of content than they did in the past.
The challenge is to make it easy for customers to find the information they need. The solution is digital asset management. DAM organizes assets in a way that enables the content to find the customer, instead of expecting the customer to search for content. Buyers no longer have to forage for information. The asset management system anticipates where the customer is on their buying journey, and automatically serves up the correctly-targeted content.
As an added bonus, better asset management improves overall business processes and efficiency, which are two important goals for helping manufacturers compete in the global marketplace.
Why an Integrated Platform is a DAM Good Solution
Digital asset management is far more than just a database of assets. A good DAM system facilitates customized user experiences, automates tools for everyday content management tasks, and optimizes your capability to work at any scale you need:
At DuPont, the Crop Protection division formerly produced a 400-page book once a year to provide customers with information about the company’s chemical agricultural products. It was a one-size-fits-all information solution. Today, DuPont uses a DAM tool to manage all of its assets online, including delivery of that annual print piece in an e-book format. Now, farmers can also use a mobile app that mines Dupont’s database for information on the specific needs of their crops and potential threats to their harvest. This translates into a more cost-effective, tailor-made solution for reaching customers in their localized languages, wherever they are located.
For DuPont, the DAM system tracks labels and safety sheets generated for farmers who buy the company’s insect, weed, and pest control products. When customer information is changed, the DAM program drives automatic updates that can be used to customize future interactions with any given buyer. By automating the delivery and updates of buyer data sheets, DuPont saved one million dollars a year, and reduced the time it takes to get materials into the hands of its customers by 50 percent.
A case in point is Maxim Integrated, a manufacturer that designs and sells semiconductor-based solutions for automobiles, medical devices, and consumer electronics. Digital asset management enabled the company to implement a powerful search tool that makes information on over 9,000 products readily available to its customers. Currently, instead of constantly combing through digital assets, Maxim’s staff can more efficiently and effectively focus on adding new capabilities, and on improving the information delivered to end users. Using a content management system also makes it easy to make updates without relying on IT. Plus, the company’s DAM solution interfaces with Maxim’s overall content management platform, and scales as needed
A Top-Line Growth Investment
Digital asset management addresses the need for manufacturers to improve both content marketing and the speed at which new information is created and deployed. Your investment in a DAM system is an investment in supporting sales conversions and top-line growth. Moreover, by extending content across channels in ways that can scale as necessary, a DAM solution also facilitates better engagement, response rates, conversion, brand consistency, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. It’s a win for the company, for the customer, and for your budget.
Editor’s note: Over the last year, we’ve introduced new ways for students to develop important future skills with Chromebook tools, including active listening and creativity. Yesterday at ISTE we announced our latest bundles in this series, curated in collaboration with educators. In this post, we dive into the STEM tools on Chromebooks bundle, designed to help students become makers and inventors. Follow our updates on Twitter, and if you’re at ISTE in San Antonio, visit us at booth #1718 to learn more and demo these tools for yourself.
Students everywhere are exploring important concepts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with a level of sophistication that’s rising every year. They’re also developing skills like problem solving and collaboration that they’ll need in higher education and, eventually, in their careers, while being exposed to real-world opportunities to be makers.
“If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors and workers have the ability to understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, building students’ skills, content knowledge and fluency in STEM fields is essential,” the Office of Innovation & Improvement, U.S. Department of Education noted in a statement in January, 2017.
To help school districts provide more STEM opportunities to students, we’re now offering a bundle of STEM tools on Chromebooks, designed to to help students become inventors and makers. These tools are available at a special discounted price and may be purchased alongside Chromebooks or independently from U.S. Chromebooks resellers.
Let’s take a deeper look at the tools in the STEM bundle.
The Dremel 3D40 3D Printer was developed by Bosch, a company that has made reliable tools for builders and hobbyists for over 80 years. About the size of a microwave oven, a 3D printer “prints” solid objects, layer by layer. The 3D40 3D Printer supports design tools such as Tinkercad and BlocksCAD, that help students create three-dimensional versions of just about anything they can dream up.
Michael Miller is a K-5 technology teacher and high-school computer science teacher for Otsego Public Schools in Otsego, MI. “Students are being exposed to technology that’s now used in a lot of fields. Medical, dental, the food industry—they’re all using 3D printers,” he says. “It will definitely make students more future ready.”
Miller uses a 3D40 3D Printer with Chromebooks in his elementary and high school classes. Depending on the class, students use the tools to create anything from a light saber to a miniature model of a Wright brothers’ airplane. From components for robots to mouthpieces for flutes, his students bring a range of personal interests to the design and printing process.
It brings what they imagine in their head into their lives.
Technology teacher, Otsego Public School
Although students often work on individual projects, Miller encourages them to solve problems together as a team. “If they need help, I expect them to look to their neighbor first before coming come to me.” Miller also sees how 3D printing can be a way to engage female students, who are often underrepresented in STEM fields today, as well as students who are less likely to speak up in class. “I had a high school student—a very reserved student—and it helped him feel more ownership in the class. It gave him a greater sense of belonging when he could make something.”
The littleBits Code Kit combines block-based visual coding, powered by Google’s Blockly, with programmable physical “bits” that are electronic color-coded building blocks that snap together with magnets. Using the Code Kit, which is designed to be accessible to a wide range of grades, students have fun building and coding games, all while learning the foundations of computer science. The kit also comes with lessons, video tutorials, getting started guides and other resources for educators and students.
Rob Troke, a computer science teacher at James Denman Middle School in San Francisco recently took a sixth-grade class to I/O Youth at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA. There, his students used the littleBits Code Kit to program light and sound patterns on a physical Bit. They quickly learned about programming logic such as loops and variables.
“I was happy to see how engaged the kids were,” he says. “It maintained their interest the entire hour, whereas with other apps and tools, I’ve seen the novelty wear off after 15 minutes.”
For some students, having a physical object linked to a coding activity helps bring additional context to computer science. It also brings electrical and mechanical engineering, often overlooked subjects in K-12, into the classroom. “Having things to play with, to figure out what they are, what they do, is extremely helpful… it’s like robotics, but without the robot,” Troke says.
Dremel’s 3D40 3D printer and littleBits Code Kit, along with free programs created by Google—like CS First and Applied Digital Skills—help bring STEM concepts to life in creative and tangible ways. To learn more about these and other educational tools, please visit g.co/educhromebookapps, check out the websites, or contact your school’s Chromebook reseller. And follow @GoogleForEdu on Twitter to see all that’s launching at ISTE.
I don’t need to tell you how big trust in business and marketing is.
Trust is everything.
You can pull every clever trick in the book, invest thousands of dollars in slick, sexy advertising and work tirelessly on conversion optimization tactics.
But at the end of the day, it’s trust that leads to sales.
That’s probably why word-of-mouth marketing is just as important as it’s ever been.
A new study from Ogilvy, Google and TNS found,
word of mouth is the most powerful factor when it comes to consumers’ relationships with brands.
According to that study, 74% of consumers cite word of mouth as being the most powerful factor.
And this totally makes sense.
I’ll trust the input of a friend or family member over some hotshot salesman any day of the week.
So, when it comes to your Twitter profile, trust-building should be given top priority.
You obviously want to grow your following.
But more importantly, you want your followers to trust you and take your opinion seriously.
Which elements should you focus on to build trust?
In this post, I share 16 essentials mandatory for creating a trust-boosting Twitter profile.
What’s the first thing Twitter users see when landing on your profile?
For most, it’s your background image.
Of course, it needs to look great and have the right pixel dimensions.
But it also needs to incorporate the same branding elements you use in your logo, on your website, other social accounts and so on.
Here’s a good example from Burt’s Bees:
Here’s another from Mashable:
Both incorporate a color scheme, style and message congruent with their overall brand.
This is important because it typically takes being exposed to your brand five to seven times before customers will buy.
Equally important is your profile picture.
Again, it needs to be appealing and be in line with the rest of your branding.
Here’s the image I use for my Neil Patel Twitter profile:
It’s simple yet professional, and visitors can instantly recognize me.
Here’s the profile picture for The Art of Manliness:
It’s matches the central theme of the Art of Manliness website.
I’ve mentioned before that adding a trust seal to your checkout page can increase conversions.
Twitter has its own version of a trust seal, which is a blue check mark.
It looks like this:
Although it’s just a small, simple icon, it can pump up your trustworthiness considerably because Twitter users instantly know your account is authentic.
I know I always look for the blue verified badge when I’m searching for a celebrity or major brand.
To get verified, you’ll need to submit a request, which you can learn about here.
And here are some of the basic elements you must have in order to be approved:
Twitter allows you to include some brief biographical information on your profile.
This is the perfect place to explain your credentials and what you bring to the table.
Use this space wisely.
Here’s the info I include on my profile:
Here’s the info Chris Ducker includes:
Just don’t go overboard tooting your own horn to the point of being annoying.
Twitter also allows you to include a link to a website in your profile.
This is great for driving referral traffic and can also serve as a trust-booster.
Just like Facebook, Twitter gives you the option of pinning a top tweet to the top of your profile.
At the moment, I’m using this feature to promote my podcast.
Pinning a top tweet is a simple way to maximize the visibility of a particular post and is great for increasing trust.
Pick what you feel is your absolute best tweet, and pin it to the top of your profile.
Ideally, it would have already received plenty of engagement (e.g., retweets, likes, etc.) because this will make you seem more legit to first-time visitors.
Keep in mind this is the first post they will see.
Pinning a top tweet is simple.
Click on the downward arrow on the top right-hand corner of your favorite tweet.
Then click “Pin to your profile page:”
That’s all there is to it.
This is a no brainer but definitely worth mentioning.
At the end of the day, you’re only as credible as the content you tweet.
If you post genuinely insightful, relevant content, people will trust you more.
If you post garbage content that’s worthless, spammy and overtly self-serving, it’s going to kill your trustworthiness.
That’s why I always try to make sure my content hits its mark and matches the interests of my audience, which fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.
Retweets are a big part of Twitter’s appeal.
With just a couple of clicks (or taps) you can retweet interesting content and share it with your audience.
But here’s the thing.
People will assess your legitimacy based on the type of content you retweet.
If you’re retweeting epic content from a credible source, you’re good to go.
This is going to enhance your image and increase your followers’ sense of trust toward you.
But if it’s crap, it’s going to diminish that sense of trust.
In other words, don’t retweet posts from spammy, irrelevant sources.
Again, the content you associate yourself with can help or hurt your brand.
Sprinkle in a few articles each week from major publications such as The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, etc.—whatever matches your industry or niche.
It needs to be relevant to your audience and cover a topic of genuine interest to them.
And here’s another thing.
It’s best to include the URL of the publication so that people can instantly recognize it.
The idea here is you can inform/entertain your audience while benefiting from the trust people have in an established, trusted site.
A big component of gaining trust is being seen as an expert or an authority on a particular subject.
To achieve this status, you have to be selective about the type of content you post.
For instance, you won’t catch me tweeting about interior design or cooking.
You’ll find me posting content strictly about digital marketing.
That’s my MO.
Be clear about what your niche is by sticking with a consistent theme.
Of all the social networks, people tend to post the most frequently on Twitter.
According to a recent study from CoSchedule, “15 tweets per day is recommended.”
Don’t be afraid of going a little crazy with your tweets.
The most important thing is to be consistent and not have any major gaps between posts.
I’m sure you know how huge video marketing is right now.
Brands that use video report more traffic, more leads and a higher ROI.
I also find video to be perfect for breaking down walls and making deeper connections.
Why not throw in a few videos on your Twitter page?
I’ve been doing this recently and am seeing some great results.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income does the same.
Just link content from your YouTube channel or website.
Hashtags are an effective way to increase the visibility of your tweets.
Their overuse, however, can backfire, especially on Twitter.
While it’s fine and even encouraged to use 10 or more hashtags on other networks, like Instagram, it’s considered best practice to use a maximum of three hashtags on Twitter.
However, two hashtags is ideal and is the number I typically aim for.
Recent research shows that
engagement drops significantly once any more than two hashtags are used, on average.
“Loading the box” with hashtags looks spammy and can be a trust killer.
Let’s say someone has 100k followers.
But what if they’re following 500k people?
All of a sudden, they don’t seem as legit and trustworthy.
But let’s say someone who has 100k followers is following only 50k people.
You’re probably more likely to take them seriously because their number of followers outweighs the number of people they’re following.
It may seem like a popularity contest, but you should try to reach a favorable ratio of followers.
I would like to think I’ve got a nice ratio:
According to Kred Stories,
it is essential that you get at least 20% of the users you follow to follow you back before you move on to the next group of followers.
In other words, don’t follow a ridiculous number of accounts unless you’ve got a sizable following.
It just looks bad if you’re following thousands of people and you have only a handful of followers yourself.
There’s evidence that indicates poor spelling and grammar costs businesses millions each year in sales.
Just like you should double-check your blog posts and emails, you should always look over your tweets before publishing anything.
Otherwise, blatant errors will make you look amateurish.
More and more businesses are using Twitter as a platform for handling customer service these days.
You’re likely to receive some complaints at some point along the way.
The worst thing you can do is ignore them.
Your followers will see them, and you’ll look bad.
The best approach is to respond as quickly as possible and try to resolve the situation.
Here’s a good example of Domino’s pulling this off perfectly:
Psychological studies have found that we have an innate desire to connect with others.
based on perceptions of trust, people reported positive interactions with a ‘close friend’ to be more rewarding than interactions with a stranger or a machine.
They also found that two specific brain regions—the ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex—were actively engaged when someone thought they were trusting a close friend.
Your goal on Twitter is to maximize your trustworthiness and create more positive interactions.
You want to bridge the gap and make people feel a sense of camaraderie with you.
The essentials I listed in this post should help you accomplish this in a variety of ways.
This should make first-time visitors more willing to follow you and help you strengthen your rapport with your existing followers.
How do you decide whether or not you trust a person or brand on Twitter?
Posted by lkolowich
You just ran what you thought was a really promising conversion test. In an effort to raise the number of visitors that convert into demo requests on your product pages, you test an attractive new redesign on one of your pages using a good ol’ A/B test. Half of the people who visit that page see the original product page design, and half see the new, attractive design.
You run the test for an entire month, and as you expected, conversions are up — from 2% to 10%. Boy, do you feel great! You take these results to your boss and advise that, based on your findings, all product pages should be moved over to your redesign. She gives you the go-ahead.
But when you roll out the new design, you notice the number of demo requests goes down. You wonder if it’s seasonality, so you wait a few more months. That’s when you start to notice MRR is decreasing, too. What gives?
Turns out, you didn’t test that page long enough for results to be statistically significant. Because that product page only saw 50 views per day, you would’ve needed to wait until over 150,000 people viewed the page before you could achieve a 95% confidence level — which would take over eight years to accomplish. Because you failed to calculate those numbers correctly, your company is losing business.
Miscalculating sample size is just one of the many CRO mistakes marketers make in the CRO space. It’s easy for marketers to trick themselves into thinking they’re improving their marketing, when in fact, they’re leading their business down a dangerous path by basing tests on incomplete research, small sample sizes, and so on.
But remember: The primary goal of CRO is to find the truth. Basing a critical decision on faulty assumptions and tests lacking statistical significance won’t get you there.
To help save you time and overcome that steep learning curve, here are some of the most common mistakes marketers make with conversion rate optimization. As you test and tweak and fine-tune your marketing, keep these mistakes in mind, and keep learning.
Equating A/B testing with CRO is like calling a square a rectangle. While A/B testing is a type of CRO, it’s just one tool of many. A/B testing only covers testing a single variable against another to see which performs better, while CRO includes all manner of testing methodologies, all with the goal of leading your website visitors to take a desired action.
If you think you’re “doing CRO” just by A/B testing everything, you’re not being very smart about your testing. There are plenty of occasions where A/B testing isn’t helpful at all — for example, if your sample size isn’t large enough to collect the proper amount of data. Does the webpage you want to test get only a few hundred visits per month? Then it could take months to round up enough traffic to achieve statistical significance.
If you A/B test a page with low traffic and then decide six weeks down the line that you want to stop the test, then that’s your prerogative — but your test results won’t be based on anything scientific.
A/B testing is a great place to start with your CRO education, but it’s important to educate yourself on many different testing methodologies so you aren’t restricting yourself. For example, if you want to see a major lift in conversions on a webpage in only a few weeks, try making multiple, radical changes instead of testing one variable at a time. Take Weather.com, for example: They changed many different variables on one of their landing pages all at once, including the page design, headline, navigation, and more. The result? A whopping 225% increase in conversions.
When you read that line about the 225% lift in conversions on Weather.com, did you wonder what I meant by “conversions?”
If you did, then you’re thinking like a CRO.
Conversion rates can measure any number of things: purchases, leads, prospects, subscribers, users — it all depends on the goal of the page. Just saying “we saw a huge increase in conversions” doesn’t mean much if you don’t provide people with what the conversion means. In the case of Weather.com, I was referring specifically to trial subscriptions: Weather.com saw a 225% increase in trial subscriptions on that page. Now the meaning of that conversion rate increase is a lot more clear.
But even stating the metric isn’t telling the whole story. When exactly was that test run? Different days of the week and of the month can yield very different conversion rates.
For that reason, even if your test achieves 98% significance after three days, you still need to run that test for the rest of the full week because of how different conversion rate can be on different days. Same goes for months: Don’t run a test during the holiday-heavy month of December and expect the results to be the same as if you’d run it for the month of March. Seasonality will affect your conversion rate.
Other things that can have a major impact on conversion rate? Device type is one. Visitors might be willing to fill out that longer form on desktop, but are mobile visitors converting at the same rate? Better investigate. Channel is another: Be wary of reporting “average” conversion rates. If some channels have much higher conversion rates than others, you should consider treating the channels differently.
Finally, remember that conversion rate isn’t the most important metric for your business. It’s important that your conversions are leading to revenue for the company. If you made your product free, I’ll bet your conversion rates would skyrocket — but you wouldn’t be making any money, would you? Conversion rate doesn’t always tell you whether your business is doing better than it was. Be careful that you aren’t thinking of conversions in a vacuum so you don’t steer off-course.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started learning CRO was thinking I could rely on what I remembered from my college statistics courses to run conversion tests. Just because you’re running experiments does not make you a scientist.
Statistics is the backbone of CRO, and if you don’t understand it inside and out, then you won’t be able to run proper tests and could seriously derail your marketing efforts.
What if you stop your test too early because you didn’t wait to achieve 98% statistical significance? After all, isn’t 90% good enough?
No, and here’s why: Think of statistical significance like placing a bet. Are you really willing to bet on 90% odds on your test results? Running a test to 90% significance and then declaring a winner is like saying, “I’m 90% sure this is the right design and I’m willing to bet everything on it.” It’s just not good enough.
If you’re in need of a statistics refresh, don’t panic. It’ll take discipline and practice, but it’ll make you into a much better marketer — and it’ll make your testing methodology much, much tighter. Start by reading this Moz post by Craig Bradford, which covers sample size, statistical significance, confidence intervals, and percentage change.
Just because something is doing well doesn’t mean you should just leave it be. Often, it’s these marketing assets that have the highest potential to perform even better when optimized. Some of our biggest CRO wins here at HubSpot have come from assets that were already performing well.
I’ll give you two examples.
The first comes from a project run by Pam Vaughan on HubSpot’s web strategy team, called “historical optimization.” The project involved updating and republishing old blog posts to generate more traffic and leads.
But this didn’t mean updating just any old blog posts; it meant updating the blog posts that were already the most influential in generating traffic and leads. In her attribution analysis, Pam made two surprising discoveries:
Why? Because these were the blog posts that had slowly built up search authority and were ranking on search engines like Google. They were generating a ton of organic traffic month after month after month.
The goal of the project, then, was to figure out: a) how to get more leads from our high-traffic but low-converting blog posts; and b) how to get more traffic to our high-converting posts. By optimizing these already high-performing posts for traffic and conversions, we more than doubled the number of monthly leads generated by the old posts we’ve optimized.
Another example? In the last few weeks, Nick Barrasso from our marketing acquisition team did a leads audit of our blog. He discovered that some of our best-performing blog posts for traffic were actually leading readers to some of our worst-performing offers.
To give a lead conversion lift to 50 of these high-traffic, low-converting posts, Nick conducted a test in which he replaced each post’s primary call-to-action with a call-to-action leading visitors to an offer that was most tightly aligned with the post’s topic and had the highest submission rate. After one week, these posts generated 100% more leads than average.
The bottom line is this: Don’t focus solely on optimizing marketing assets that need the most work. Many times, you’ll find that the lowest-hanging fruit are pages that are already performing well for traffic and/or leads and, when optimized even further, can result in much bigger lifts.
When it comes to CRO, process is everything. Remove your ego and assumptions from the equation, stop relying on individual tactics to optimize your marketing, and instead take a systematic approach to CRO.
Your CRO process should always start with research. In fact, conducting research should be the step you spend the most time on. Why? Because the research and analysis you do in this step will lead you to the problems — and it’s only when you know where the problems lie that you can come up with a hypothesis for overcoming them.
Remember that test I just talked about that doubled leads for 50 top HubSpot blog posts in a week? Nick didn’t just wake up one day and realize our high-traffic blog posts might be leading to low-performing offers. He discovered this only by doing hours and hours of research into our lead gen strategy from the blog.
Paddy Moogan wrote a great post on Moz on where to look for data in the research stage. What does your sales process look like, for example? Have you ever reviewed the full funnel? “Try to find where the most common drop-off points are and take a deeper dive into why,” he suggests.
Here’s an (oversimplified) overview of what a CRO process should look like:
As you go through these steps, be sure you’re recording your hypothesis, test methodology, success criteria, and analysis in a replicable way. My team at HubSpot uses the template below, which was inspired by content from Brian Balfour’s online Reforge Growth programs. We’ve created an editable version in Google Sheets here that you can copy and customize yourself.
Don’t forget the last step in the process: Conduct a follow-up experiment. What can you refine for your next test? How can you make improvements?
One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten around CRO is this: “A test doesn’t ‘fail’ unless something breaks. You either get the result you want, or you learned something.”
It came from Sam Woods, a growth marketer, CRO, and copywriter at HubSpot, after I used the word “fail” a few too many times after months of unsuccessful tests on a single landing page.
What he taught me was a major part of the CRO mindset: Don’t give up after the first test. (Or the second, or the third.) Instead, approach every test systematically and objectively, putting aside your previous assumptions and any hope that the results would swing one way or the other.
As Peep Laja said, “Genuine CROs are always willing to change their minds.” Learn from tests that didn’t go the way you expected, use them to tweak your hypothesis, and then iterate, iterate, iterate.
I hope this list has inspired you to double down on your CRO skills and take a more systematic approach to your experiments. Mastering conversion rate optimization comes with a steep learning curve — and there’s really no cutting corners. You can save a whole lot of time (and money) by avoiding the mistakes I outlined above.
Have you ever made any of these CRO mistakes? Do you have any CRO mistakes to add to the list? Tell us about your experiences and ideas in the comments.
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As a marketer, many of your campaigns may be built around one primary objective: getting people to fill out a form. Often, designing a compelling advertisement isn’t enough to encourage people into handing over their details. Many factors can deter someone from submitting a form, including the unwillingness to provide contact information.
Here are some content design strategies and tips that you can employ today to effectively nudge people toward conversion:
When driving people to a form, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to distract them with detours. Landing pages should be built as simple as possible. Here’s how:
1. Drive people to a landing page—not your website.
You want people to do one thing, and one thing only: fill out that form. You must drive them with a simple and engaging email to a landing page that is specifically built for your campaign. Sending someone to your website offers a plethora of distractions, including images and text that don’t apply to your campaign’s appeal, multiple links to other information, and in some cases, flashing beacons of light that are begging folks to take some other action. If you want people to drive directly to your destination, don’t drop them off in the middle of Las Vegas where sparkling lights from competing assets beg for their attention. Likewise, steer clear of cluttering your emails with the same distractions.
2. Remove ALL navigation from the landing page.
Don’t offer an exit ramp when you are trying to capture a person’s information on a form. Doing so can make your lead stray away from your primary call-to-action. Will they find their way back to your form? Maybe. Most of the time—no. At that point, you may have lost their impulse to decide. Instead, your landing page should be designed simply, and with only ONE action they can possibly take: fill out that form.
Emails, advertisements (online and offline), and social campaigns should have a similar look and feel. Using too many different images, layouts and copy between assets can create a disconnect for people, and can even make a person feel like the content is not reliable. Instead, try to use the following techniques in design:
All too often, I have seen emails and landing pages designed with too much text, and entirely too many images. Asking people to read an entire magazine before filling out your form will certainly contribute to losing their interest. Here are some tips on how to do more with less:
Create an impulse decision.
Don’t give up the farm!
Keep all the important stuff above the fold.
Use a short form.
In this exciting new digital age, social media has impacted customer behavior in a way that creates multiple challenges for marketers. Today’s savvy internet surfers are accustomed to getting all the information they need in a short social media status message or in a brief article online. We can learn from this behavior. These micro status messages entice people to follow links to landing pages. Your content marketing strategy should do the same.
Creating short, simple, and actionable marketing messages using the techniques I described here can have a positive impact on conversion rates. While this is not an exhaustive list of conversion strategies, these basics can significantly impact your results.
Do you have any conversion strategies that you use? Please share them here!
Videos work great for content marketing for three reasons:
Now, the days when video content was so hard to create that most people were just shying away are over. Videos are no-brainer now. When it comes to video tutorials and mashups, I am simply using iMovie (free easy time-saver). However, in many cases, you won’t even need any desktop software.
There are some awesome online tools that allow you to create professional videos that will diversify your video marketing and let you experiment with genres, styles and types. The first one that comes to mind is of course Youtube Hangouts on Air.
But it’s not the only one!
The following four tools are all freemium, so you’ll have a chance to play for free first:
Animoto is a huge time-saver! Grab your screenshots and videos, choose (or upload your own) music, add text breaks – you are done! A new video is ready to distribute.
I like using it for screenshot showcase (for tutorials) and for summing up discussions, hangouts, etc but I am sure there can be lots of other ideas (this about weekly user photo showcase, testimonial showcase, etc etc.)
Powtoon is a freemium tool to create animated presentations and video instructions. The best thing about this tool is that it lets you create video instructions that grab attention and have huge viral potential as opposed to traditional step-by-step video guides.
It has lots of templates with different mascots:
There are lots of available elements inside: Characters, animations, text affects, image holders, etc. The free version will keep its watermark on the final version.
Powtoon is awesome for creating concept explanations, fun tutorials and even promo videos.
They also have #slides project in private beta which I am really looking forward to playing with! Stay tuned!
Vidtrack is a new tool I’ll need to play with. It lets you user-generate your videos by enabling your readers to send you video messages. I think it may work for testimonials, contests, etc
You can try it for free and create 5 videos. I imagine you can use those videos in lots of ways (especially if you need some editing in place).
Just look at some examples of videos featured on the site get inspired
Their newest feature is the website recorder which also has a WordPress plugin allowing your users to create content for you:
Our video recorder will allow you to put a video record button anywhere on your website. Whenever someone clicks the record button it will activate a webcam or mobile camera. Site visitors can record any type of fan videos, crowdsourced videos or user generated videos. These could be video testimonials, video interviews, video contests, video auditions, video reviews, video feedback, etc….
Are there any other time-saving video creation tools you are aware of?
The post 4 Tools to Easily Create Videos to Diversify Your Content Marketing appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.
Once controversial, the adoption of automated, data-driven buying of advertising is now so mainstream it is often taken for granted. Over 70 percent of digital video ad budgets and over 80 percent of display ads are forecasted to be bought through automated channels this year. Traditional TV advertising bought through automated software is expected to eclipse $3 billion in 2017, and double in 2018 to $6 billion.
Given the rapid rate of change, the skillsets required for modern media planning, buying and execution are much different today than they were even five years ago. Even creative jobs — traditionally the bastion of designers and art directors — are becoming more data-driven according to Adobe Digital Insight’s latest Advertising Report, which found that nearly one-third (32 percent) of creative job listings require data and technology skills.
As a result, it’s becoming mission-critical for marketers to adapt, train, and cultivate the next generation of advertising talent — particularly as industry hiring is expected to outpace the labor market overall. Every role — from CEO down to an entry-level media planner — now demands new expertise, and marketers need a partner that is committed to helping them succeed in a fluid industry.
To that end, Adobe Advertising Cloud is proud today to announce the launch of Adobe Advertising Academy.
Adobe Advertising Academy is an immersive, free training program that provides marketers with both certified technical training as well as a broader strategic understanding of industry developments and current events that are necessary to excel in today’s evolving market.
Adobe Advertising Academy pushes the boundaries of traditional, platform-specific training programs by utilizing insights from all of Adobe. New courses on creative strategy, sophisticated ROI analysis, hiring and presentation skills are designed to arm marketers to succeed in a broader context.
Adobe Advertising Academy is associated with Adobe Digital Learning Services, Experience Cloud learning programs. Adobe Advertising Academy builds on an earlier, award-winning program launched at TubeMogul, which Adobe acquired in December of 2016. At launch, Adobe Advertising Academy has already trained over 1,000 marketers across North America, EMEA and APAC including Adidas, BRP, Clorox, Heineken, L’Oréal and Walmart.
Clients that successfully completed Adobe Advertising Academy’s inaugural session include Diageo, The Prosper Group and Universal Music Group.
“While we’re incredibly proud of our industry-leading platform, we’re even more proud of our client services and learning and development teams that have armed our clients with the knowledge they need to succeed,” said Brett Wilson, VP, GM of Adobe Advertising Cloud. “Adobe Advertising Academy builds on that legacy by offering a rigorous program taught by experts covering the whole industry — all in a setting that encourages sharing best-practices with industry peers.”
“Adobe Advertising Academy is the gold standard in digital marketing education programs,” said Andrew Finnan, director of accounts, The Prosper Group. “The overview of current market trends and the ability to network with other leading advertisers yielded valuable insights that will drive real results for our clients.”
Enrollment in Adobe Advertising Academy will be included in the new client activation process at no additional cost for qualified customers. In addition to the hands-on product training and industry overview, Adobe Advertising Academy’s other new curriculum includes:
Post-graduation, Adobe Advertising Academy also offers opportunities for continued enrichment. These include:
Michelle Chen is Head of Training, Adobe Advertising CloudRead More