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
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.
Posted by randfish
I just finished reading Jan Schaumann’s short post on Why Companies Should Pay for Their Employees to Attend Conferences. I liked it. I generally agree with it. But I have more to add.
First off, I think it’s reasonable for managers and company leaders to be wary of conferences and events. It is absolutely true that if your employees attend them, there will be costs associated, and it’s logical for businesses to seek a return on investment.
Let’s start by attempting to tally up the costs:
That’s no small barrier. For many small businesses or agencies, it’s a month or two of their marketing expenses or the salary for an employee. There needs to be significant return on those dollars to make it worthwhile. Thankfully, in all of my experiences over hundreds of marketing events the last 12 years, there is.
Nearly all the benefits of events come from three sources: the growth (in skills, relationships, exposure to ideas, etc) of the attendee(s), applicable tactics & strategies (including all the indirect ones that come from serendipitous touch points), and the extension of your organization’s brand and network.
In the personal growth department, we see benefits like:
In the applicable tactics & strategies, we get benefits like:
In the extension of organizational brand/network, we get benefits like:
But I said above that these three included “nearly all” the benefits, didn’t I? 🙂
It’s true. There are more intangible forms of value events provide. I think one of the biggest is the trust gained between a manager and their team or an employer and their employees. When organizations offer an events budget, especially when they offer it with relative freedom for the team member to choose how and where to spend it, a clear message is sent. The organization believes in its people. It trusts its people. It is willing to sacrifice short-term work for the long-term good of its people. The organization accepts that someone might be recruited away through the network they gain at an event, but is willing to make the trade-off for a more trusting, more valuable team. As the meme goes:
CFO: What if we invest in our people and they leave?
CEO: What if we don’t and they stay?
Total: $A Lot?
The challenge comes in because these are hard things for which to calculate ROI. In fact, any number I throw out for any of these above will absolutely be wrong for your particular situation and organization. The only true way to estimate value is through hindsight, and that means having faith that the future will look like the past (or rigorous, statistically sound models with large sample sizes, validated through years of controlled comparison… which only a handful of the world’s biggest and richest companies do).
It’s easy to see stories like “The biggest deals I’ve ever done, mostly (80%) came from meeting people at conferences” and “I’ve had the opportunity to open the door of conversations previously thought locked” and “When I send people on my team I almost always find they come back more inspired, rejuvenated, and full of fire” and dismiss them as outliers or invent reasons why the same won’t apply to you. It’s also easy explain away past successes gained through events as not necessarily requiring the in-person component.
I see this happen a lot. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve seen it at Moz. Remember last summer, when we did layoffs? One of the benefits cut was the conference and events budget for team members. While I think that was the right decision, I’m also hopeful & pushing for that to be one of the first benefits we reinstate now that we’re profitable again.
Lexi Mills at Turing Festival in Edinburgh
Over the years of my event participation, first as an attendee, and later as a speaker, I can measure my personal and Moz’s professional benefits, and come up with some ballpark range. It’s harder to do with my team members because I can’t observe every benefit, but I can certainly see every cost in line-item format. Human beings are pretty awful in situations like these. We bias to loss aversion over potential gain. We rationalize why others benefit when we don’t. We don’t know what we’re missing so we use logic to convince ourselves it’s ROI negative to justify our decision.
It’s the same principle that often makes hard-to-measure marketing channels the best ROI ones.
Before writing this post, I asked on Twitter about the pros and cons of marketing conferences that folks felt were less often covered. A number of the responses were insightful and worthy of discussion follow-ups, so I wanted to include them here, with some thoughts.
If you’re a conference organizer, you know how tough a conversation this is. Want to bring in outside food vendors (which are much more affordable and interesting than what venues themselves usually offer)? 90% of venues have restrictions against it. Want to get great food for attendees? That same 90% are going to charge you on the order of hundreds of dollars per attendee. MozCon’s food costs are literally 25%+ of our entire budget, and considering we usually break even or lose a little money, that’s huge.
If you’re a media company and you run events for profit, or you’re a smaller business that can’t afford to have your events be a money-losing endeavor, you’re between a rock and a hard place. At places like MozCon and CTAConf, the food is pretty killer, but the flip side is there’s no margin at all. Many conferences simply can’t afford to swing that.
Totally agree with Ross — interesting one, and pros/cons to each. At smaller shows, I love the more intimate connections, but I’m also well aware that for most speakers, it’s a tough proposition to ask for a new presentation or to bring their best stuff. It’s also hard to get many big-name speakers. And, as Ross points out, the networking can be deeper, but with a smaller group. If you’re hoping to meet someone from company X or run into colleagues from the past, small size may inhibit.
For years prior to MozCon, I’d only ever been to events with a couple keynotes and then panels of 3–6 people in breakout sessions the rest of the day. I naively thought we’d invented some brilliant new system with the all-keynote-style conference (it had obviously been around for decades; I just wasn’t exposed to it). It also became clear over time that many other marketing conferences had the same idea and today, it’s an even split between those that do all-keynotes vs. those with a hybrid of breakouts, panels, and keynotes.
Personally, my preference is still all-keynote. I agree with Greg that, on occasion, a speaker won’t do a great job, and sitting through those 20–40 minutes can be frustrating. But I can count on a single hand the number of panel sessions I’ve ever found value in, and I strongly dislike being forced to choose between sessions and not sharing the same experience with other attendees. Even when the session I’ve chosen is a good one, I have FOMO (“what if that other session around the corner is even better?!”) and that drives my quality of experience down.
This, though, is personal preference. If you like panels, breakouts, and multi-track options, stick to SMX, Content Marketing World, INBOUND, and others like them. If you’re like me and prefer all keynotes, single track, go for CTAConf, Searchlove, Inbounder, MozCon, and their ilk.
I agree this is a real problem. Being a conference organizer, I get to see a lot of the feedback and requests, and I think that’s where the issue stems from. For example, a few years back, Brittan Bright, who now does sales at Google in New York, gave a brilliant talk about the soft skills of selling and client relations. It scored OK in the lineup, but a lot of the feedback overall that year was from people who wanted more “tactical tips” and “technical tricks” and less “soft skills” content. Every conference has to deal with this demand and supply issue. You might respond (as my friend Wil Reynolds often does) with “who cares what people say they want?! Give them what they don’t know they need!”
That’s how conferences go broke, my friends. 🙂 Every year, we try to include at least a few sessions that focus on these softer skills (in numerous ways), and every year, there’s pushback from folks who wish we’d just show them how to get more easy links, or present some new tool they haven’t heard of before. It’s a tough give and take, but I’m empathetic to both sides on this issue. Actionable tactics matter, and they make for big, immediate wins. Soft skills are important, too, but there’s a significant portion of the audience who’ll get frustrated seeing talks on these topics.
Hrm… I think I agree more with Freja than with Herman, but it’s entirely a personal preference. If you know yourself well enough to know that you’ll benefit more (or less) by attending with others from your team, make the call. This is one reason I love the idea of businesses offering the freedom of choice on how to use their event budget.
There were a number of these conflicting points-of-view in reply to my tweet, and I think they indicate the challenge for attendees and organizers. Opinions vary about what makes for a great conference, a great speaker or session, or the best way to get value from them.
I get this question a lot (which is fair, I go to *a lot* of events). It really depends what you like, so I’ll try to break down my recommendations in that format.
Big, industry-wide events with many thousands of attendees, big name keynotes, famous musical acts, and hundreds of breakout session options:
Mid-tier events with 1,000–1,500 attendee:
Smaller, local, & niche events with a few hundred attendees and a more intimate setting:
This list is by no means exhaustive, and I’m certain there are many other events that give great value. I can only speak from my own experiences, which are going to carry the bias of what I’ve seen and what I like.
Two years ago, I ran a survey about marketing conferences and received, analyzed, then published the results. I’d like to repeat that again, and see what’s changed. Please contribute and tell us what matters to you:
I look forward to the discussion in the comments. If the Twitter thread was any indication, there’s a lot of passion and interest around this topic, one that I share. And of course, if you’d like to chat in person about this and see how we’re doing things at Moz, I hope you’ll consider MozCon in just a few weeks in Seattle.
Roger’s note: *beep* Rogerbot here! I think Rand forgot an important benefit of one conference: At MozCon, you can hug a robot. If you’re considering joining us in Seattle this July, we’re over 75% sold out! Be sure to grab your ticket while you can.
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!
While at a trade show in Chicago more than 20 years ago — when I was the global director of The Coca-Cola Company’s first Strategic Innovation Group to look for human-centered innovations — I recall seeing a new brand of kitchen tools: OXO. The founder, Sam Farber, was a pioneer of ‘design thinking’, long before that term came into vogue. He noticed that his wife found it difficult to grip a can opener. To make it more comfortable for her, he worked with a design firm to develop a very functional and elegant, soft, black handle that became the signature design for OXO’s products. The handle felt better in people’s hands, was easier to use, and looked good. Incorporating empathy for what the person using the product might need, this was design thinking at its finest.
To compete in today’s experience era, businesses need to understand the situations people are in nowadays and work from there — like OXO did — to help provide solutions to their problems. They can’t rely on traditional push marketing anymore. Marketing like that is outdated. Instead, everyone must become an ‘engager’. Regardless of title or functional role, everyone needs to not only understand how a product goes to market but also who’s buying it, touching it, using it, and talking about it — and then engage with them. This is the new ‘engager marketing.’
Everyone’s a Marketer, but Let’s Call Them Engagers.
Good engagers are also good listeners and observers. They not only listen to people and examine their needs but also listen digitally and analyze and interpret the data. By implementing all of these active words, you are paying attention to the people who matter for your product or service. You must understand — on a personal level — what is important to those who buy, use, discuss, promote, and advocate your product or service.
Let’s think back to OXO again. The founder understood his wife’s situation and worked from there, designing from her perspective to find the right solution. Finding the need and then the solution must have come easily for Farber, but others had to be taught. And the earlier they could learn this design-thinking discipline, the better, as it prepared everyone to handle this shift in business. Even children in elementary school can learn to listen for and understand problems before coming up with solutions.
How do you do it? According to OXO, “We study people — lefties and righties, male and female, young and old — interacting with products and we identify opportunities for meaningful improvement. Our thoughtful, “question everything” process and relentless attention to detail uncover the best solutions for life’s everyday tasks.”
Use Science to Know the Need and Art to Solve It.
Growing up in the business world at The Procter & Gamble Company, I learned to use a very disciplined set of marketing tools. Science has always been a part of brand management, and most companies today have adopted that focus on science and data to some degree. Experience businesses also need to rely on data science to consider what their customers think first.
This may seem like a slow process in a fast-paced world. Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible to identify both needs and solutions at the necessary pace. But, for competitive differentiation to happen, we still need the human touch — the art. For example, if you have two competitors in the same category — and both are equally competent, well-funded, and have good brand reputations — the difference is going to be the experience that each company provides. The company with the most compelling, personalized experience is going to win. One is going to look better, feel better, and work better, and much of that will come from the creative layer. That’s where the art comes in.
This combination of science and art is part of the design thinking concept. Use science to understand the need and art to solve the problem you precisely identify.
Fine-Tune Your Thinking — and Each Experience.
Just as OXO has done, experience businesses need to work from empathetic perspectives and continuously repeat. As you fine-tune, you will also have other functions, inside and outside the company, involved in designing, manufacturing, and distributing product. Let’s say you design the best kitchen appliance, and it fits in your hand perfectly. However, the type of rubber you used is slippery and prevents your wet hands from getting a good grip. That means your design is wrong, so you will need to involve an engineer and others who can spec the right rubber. It takes a village — including the user.
Remember the following points, and you’ll be well on your way to thinking like an experience business:
Marketing Is Outdated — The New Engager Marketing Is Where It’s at!
Creating experiences needs to be a thoughtful process, carried out across all functions in the organization and across all online and offline touchpoints. This is true for any business that wants to thrive in today’s experience era. There will be a time and place to add your perspective, but for now, it’s all about the customers and what they want. That’s the new engager marketing.
Read more ideas about the future of experience business from our #AdobeTT participants.
The post Marketing Is Outdated — Here’s Why and What to Do. appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.Read More
Sometimes there is no better feeling than coming home after a long day to your furry friend.
No, wait! What about this?
Gosh, I just love it when they do chores. You know what, my fluffy friend? Why don’t you just take a load off.
You may not know it, but your dog is a marketer and a darn good one at that. Here are three marketing lessons you can learn from man’s best friend:
Sure, you’ve come home to an absolute mess before. But not like this. The front door swings open and you find that Bosco, your sweet golden retriever, decided it was in his best interest to annihilate the throw pillows on the couch and then dump the trash can. While you may have just reached levels of frustration that you didn’t even think were possible, let me ask you this: did Bosco act like a dog? Yes. Yes, he did.
More than just being pros at creating a huge mess, dogs are authentic. They give you unconditional love no matter what, think about you the entire time you’re at work (sometimes so much that they destroy the house), and no matter what mood you’re in, they still want to cuddle you and give you kisses. And what does it do to you? It melts you heart and strengthens the bond between you two.
The first takeaway from our fluffy friends is that no matter their behavior, dogs are good at being dogs. And if we can be good at being humans (authentic humans, that is), we will forge stronger connections with our intended audience. So stop selling, stop talking at your customers and begin a 1-1 dialogue where both parties learn about each other. Heck, become best friends! But know that the way to every customer’s heart is by being your authentic self. Customers want to see behind the curtain and know that on the other side, good people are taking care of them and thinking about their best interests. That’s how you get customers to repeatedly buy from you and advocate for your brand.
Dogs know when they made a mistake. They put their heads down, tail in between their legs, and beg for our forgiveness by moping around the house. And who are we kidding? They look so cute when they’re guilty—so we often forgive them right away. As marketers, we’re not always the best at admitting when we made a BIG error. You know, the kind of error like when you email your suppression list of 200,000 agitated subscribers and you receive thousands of nasty replies (not saying that’s ever happened to anyone).
In line with the first point of being authentic, it’s critical that as marketers we know when to say sorry. By design, marketers are urged to push the boundaries of the so-called “norm” and it’s all to get the attention of our customers. So while it might be well-intentioned, we don’t always hit the mark and that can have negative consequences. It is at this crucial moment that we define ourselves. While you may be willing to try edgy messaging, it’s still vital that, as marketers, we continually place our customers at the forefront of our minds in everything we do. Are we willing to accept responsibility, say we are sorry, and humanize and humble ourselves and our brand? The answer should be, ‘yes’. And that’s a critical lesson our canine counterparts can teach us—we love dogs because they can admit their faults and want to repair the relationship and if we can do it too, our customers will love us.
Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t know when to quit. No matter how much you ask your pooch to stop begging at the table, what will he do? BEG, BEG, BEG, then beg some more. Then what do you do? Give him some food. That’ll do the trick, right? No! He continues to beg! Despite how irritatingly cute this sort of behavior can be, it can teach us two very import lessons. 1) Stay focused on one thing at a time and 2) Be persistent.
We marketers can be distracted by shiny objects (much like dogs)—meaning that we want to chase after every new idea that comes across the table (much like dogs). But when we can’t just focus on one thing, we divide our attention and efforts across too many priorities and find that we can’t succeed or do any one project well. So the point is to find the one or two projects that you think will move the needle, give them all of your focus, and don’t rest until you complete them from A-Z. The marketers that do well are the ones that do one or two projects well a quarter, not 15 projects poorly.
Lastly, don’t know when to quit or rather, don’t quit until you know it’s the right time. Follow your intuition, test, rewrite copy, and test again. Push on a new idea until you know with 100% certainty that it simply won’t work for the business. Learning to accept failure as a learning opportunity is possibly the most important career lesson you’ll ever learn.
I hope this blog gave you a new-found appreciation for your best friend at home! Do you have any other lessons to add to this list? Is your dog a better marketer than Bosco, the golden retriever? Let me know in the comments below!
Using rich data is commonplace in the B2B world. It seems though that people have tended to shy away from applying those same data-driven marketing principles to the consumer marketing world or may not have even known that it’s possible. For the businesses that do, it’s a game changer.
B2B marketers have the art of prospecting down to a science. They know exactly what their clients look like and use data insights to guide their ideal targets through the buyer’s journey.
Although the B2C world is different, in some ways there’s a lot to be learned from the way B2B marketers manage their audiences, personalize their customer experiences, and use data to drive strategy.
Let’s take a look at some areas that we’ve traditionally thought of as B2B marketing and examine at the process through a B2C lens.
I had the pleasure of attending the Marketing Nation Summit recently where Marketo CEO Steve Lucas welcomed us to the Engagement Economy. The process Lucas outlined for success in this new era is to listen, learn and engage. Although this might seem like an obvious way of operating, it hasn’t always been as easy as 1-2-3 for businesses to follow this process.
The area that most organizations have struggled with is the learning part. In order to effectively engage with their customers, organizations must gain insights about who they are, what they care about, and what they are interested in.
Many B2B marketers have successfully overcome this challenge by leveraging third party data to cover information gaps, which allow them to learn as much as possible about their clients, prospects and target accounts. For example:
All of this sounds great, right? But you might be wondering if this level of rich data is even available on a consumer level? Well, previously this would have been near impossible. But we have come a long way in understanding individuals to the point that your reliable data options are starting to become plentiful.
In the past, you may have only had someone’s name, address, and their transaction history with your company. While you can glean some insights from this 1st party data, you really need to enrich with 3rd party data to get some real, actionable insights. Let’s look at some of the data points that are now accessible to help drive a strategy for B2C marketers.
You might be surprised to learn that your company can gain access to these (and many more) consumer data points to enhance your sales and marketing efforts. With these data insights, you can better understand your current customers, find new prospects that look just like your best customers, and craft your messaging to engage your customers and prospective customers most effectively.
If you were surprised to found out your company can gain these deep consumer insights, well it gets even better. You can now also integrate them directly into your marketing automation platform for real-time intelligence.
Another key theme from the Marketing Nation Summit was the recent growth in adoption of Account Based Marketing (ABM). ABM is a B2B strategy where sales and marketing are aligned to penetrate a defined set of target accounts by using personalized tactics for each. This is different than the traditional B2B marketing approach, where broad-reach campaigns are employed to draw in large numbers of inbound leads. Some of the benefits of an ABM approach are a clearer ROI, reduction in wasted resources, and better sales and marketing alignment. The rise in ABM is mainly due to technology advancements making it easier for organizations to closely track engagement within accounts and personalize at scale.
So how does this translate to B2C? There’s a lot to be learned from this more optimized marketing strategy. Firstly, the main principle of ABM is a very targeted approach to filling sales and marketing pipeline, as opposed to casting a large net for lead generation. B2C marketers should embrace this logic by being more proactive in directing their revenue stream instead of trying to convert any and all potential customers that come their way. This can be done through predictive prospecting tactics on the consumer level by using lead scoring (based on the data insights noted above) and only allocating resources towards those that fit the model of their ideal target customer.
The second lesson to be learned here is personalization. At the heart of it all, we are all marketing to people, whether they are part of a target account at a B2B organization or part of a consumer household. By understanding and marketing to real people, not devices or channels, you can successfully engage with your customer and nurture them to become a customer for life. You’ll want to focus on tying all engagement experiences back to the consumer level—in other words, do people-based marketing.
When flipping the script of some of these traditional B2B mindsets to apply to consumer marketing, you might start to wonder if some of these tactics are intrusive? But the truth is, it’s the opposite. By using data insights to drive your strategy you are respecting the needs and interests of your consumer by investing in a way to drive better customer service from day one. To put it simply, putting the customer first.
It’s all about being a respectful marketer, regardless of whether your primary audience is businesses or an end consumer. The goal is to be personal, and relevant. As Lucas, points out in his Blueprint for Success in the Engagement Economy, “The choice is binary. We can choose to engage, choose to demonstrate we understand the values of the buyer, and choose to let them know we want them as a customer, or risk being sentenced to a lifetime of irrelevance.”
People want relationships, and personalized and meaningful interactions with companies they choose to do business with. As marketers, we should strive to overcome the impersonal, high-volume approach to marketing that only leads to frustrated customers.
As we all embark in this new Engagement Economy together as marketers, we should be willing to look at things through a different lens, adopt new technologies to optimize and enhance our campaigns, and think about the customer experience first.
If you are interested in learning more about using consumer-level data to drive your marketing and sales tactics, please join us for this free webinar—Marketing Automation with WE: Using WealthEngine to Personalize your Lead Nurturing.
The post B2C Marketing: What No One is Talking About appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
You know the basics of marketing automation: it streamlines, automates, and monitors routine marketing tasks. But a good marketing automation platform is about more than making life easier for the marketing team—it should also help you close more deals.
So, how can you tap into different aspects of marketing automation to increase sales? Check out these seven tips:
Tired of hearing sales complain about marketing’s unqualified leads? Determining when a prospect is sales-ready can be difficult, but a robust marketing automation platform scores leads behind the scenes.
Lead scoring is an automated strategy that adds or subtracts points from each lead based on actions taken or not taken. It can also be used to track demographic data to provide a higher score to a lead that fits your ideal buyer persona. When a lead reaches a threshold that you set, it is deemed “sales-ready” and is passed onto the sales team.
Here is an example of some lead scoring you can implement, based on behaviors:
Lead scoring helps ensure that your sales team doesn’t waste time on unqualified leads. It can also shorten overall sales cycles.
By the time a lead hits your website, they’ve already gained an impression of your company. A personalized website will increase your conversion rate and make a better impression. The lead and customer data (who they are, where they work, online behavior, etc.) can be used to personalize landing pages and other web content seen by each lead. Even anonymous web visitors’ experiences can be personalized.
For example, if you are an online retailer, and a visitor who has been shopping for winter coats finds your website, a web page for winter coats would be presented first. Personalized web content helps build a better, more personal, relationship with leads and ensures that their experience with your company is the best it can be–and therefore increases in sales.
To make sure your sales-ready leads are being followed up on with the right message by sales–it’s important to provide sales with the information they need to have the best conversation. By tracking the interactions leads have with your company and providing that information to sales in an easy spot, such as their CRM system, sales will be able to have a personalized and effective conversation with each sales-ready lead.
Here is an example of a dashboard that can help prepare your sales team. It’s called Interesting Moments, and it’s a part of the Marketo Sales Insight application in Salesforce.
When a lead interacts with your company, it’s important to stay top of mind by keeping the conversation going. Triggered emails get sent automatically based on a lead’s actions. They help turn more leads into real customers without wasting your sales team’s time. For example, if a potential customer views a pricing page, an email designed for interested customers can be sent.
Triggered emails have been shown to perform three times better than other types of emails (even batch emails).
In an ideal world, all marketing leads would be sales-ready. But in reality, most leads are not ready and need some nurturing before they can be passed to sales.
By implementing segmented lead nurturing, you can provide specific content to each lead to push them to become sales-ready–when they are ready. Segmented lead nurturing can be done by industry, role, or company size.
Your prospects are on every channel—whether it’s browsing on social, searching the web, heading to events and more. It’s important to track each interaction your prospect has with your company–no matter what channel. This will help guide your message to a prospect, based on what types of content your audience is interacting with. This will help increase sales because relevant content is the number one way to keep a prospect engaging with your company.
Use tools native to your engagement platform like predictive content, web personalization, digital ads and triggered emails to help you engage your leads with a timely, relevant and personal message, while also capturing data about their engagement (or lack of engagement) with your message or content.
Doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results isn’t going to cut it in today’s digital world! Marketers need to be tracking the ROI of every program they run to see if there are tangible results. An ideal ROI is 5x–meaning you are generating 5 times the amount of pipeline or revenue compared to what you paid to run this program.
By tracking this type of data, you’ll know which programs yield the best results for revenue – and keep running those programs and cancel the ones that are not performing.
An engagement platform with marketing automation doesn’t just offer benefits for the marketing team—it can help sales win more deals, more often and more efficiently.
The post 7 Ways to Increase Sales with Marketing Automation appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
Listen as special guest Noah Kagan, founder of Sumo and AppSumo, joins the experts to share how he grows his list and generates high volume traffic to his blog, podcast, and websites. From content distribution strategies to giveaways to the “Restaurant Strategy” that provides value, Noah and the hosts detail tactics you can use today.
Episode 38: The 4-Step Podcast Launch Strategy
Noah’s How to Launch a Podcast Blog Article
AppSumo: The Growth Hacker Giveaway
Arron Sorkin’s “Bulk-Up to Write” from his The Craft of Screenwriting MasterClass:
Thanks so much for joining us this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a review on iTunes!
The post Episode 99: Marketing & Traffic Advice from Facebook’s 30th Employee: Noah Kagan appeared first on DigitalMarketer.Read More
SEO is powerful for more than just inbound marketing. The tools of SEO, and the insights SEO strategies generate, are also highly effective in delighting and retaining customers in the post-sale enablement, adoption, and retention phases of customer marketing. In these stages, customers are just beginning to implement products, learning how to use them, and continuing to build a relationship with the brand. They may also be considering additional purchases.
Adopting keyword and user intent research techniques as part of your customer marketing strategy allows you to reach and delight new customers during the earliest phases of their journey, increasing the likelihood that they’ll remain customers, purchase additional products, and advocate for your brand.
In the enablement phase, new customers are learning how to implement purchased products and use them to their full potential. SEO can help you exceed expectations in this phase by providing insight into the questions customers have post-sale.
Long-tail keywords—search queries that are four words are longer—are often used by searchers who are looking for answers to specific questions. Conducting long-tail keyword research identifies common post-sale questions your customers are asking, and determine the types of information new customers are seeking. There are several tools that provide insight into common post-sale search queries:
These three tools would help Marketo marketers discover that users are searching for documentation on integrating with other third-party tools. Additionally, they know which specific tools users want to integrate with: Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. This provides the information needed to create and publish detailed guides on integrating with these platforms.
Conducting research to determine what questions customers are asking post-sale helps you can create detailed content—FAQ pages, tutorial videos, and how-to guides—that answers those questions, exceeding customer expectations in the enablement phase. (If you’re just getting started with long-tail keywords, or need some guidance, we have a free worksheet template to help you stay organized.)
The content can also be converted to PDF format for use in offline customer service interactions. Sales and customer service team members who field customer questions over the phone can simply email customers detailed PDF instructions.
In the adoption and retention phase, companies focus on highlighting the value their products/services provide in order to drive increased usage. User intent research—uncovering exactly what users are looking for when using specific search queries—can help in this stage by highlighting the specific features purchasers are interested in using.
The same keyword research tools mentioned before can be used in this phase, but this time you’re looking for pre-sale—rather than post-sale—terms.
(Of course, customers certainly perform significant research on product capabilities before making a purchase. Pre-sale research, however, may have simply checked off a list of required features without looking in-depth at how those features worked. Alternately, what were minor requirements during research may now be more important.)
An analytics software provider, for example, might conduct keyword research for “analytics reports” and find the related keyword “analytics for social media.” That keyword may have multiple user intents: to purchase analytics software that provides social media tracking, or to learn how to use existing analytics software to track interactions on social channels.
To determine which intents apply, you have to conduct user intent research. Enter relevant search terms into Google and view page-one results to identify what, specifically, your audience is looking for. Searching for “analytics for social media” populates some product comparisons and lists, but it also populates results detailing how to track social media analytics using Google Analytics.
This shows that users may be looking to purchase an analytics product, but they may also be looking for ways to utilize their existing analytics software to track social media metrics. An analytics platform provider, then, may be able to increase adoption and retention by publishing how-to guides, videos, and other content detailing how to use his platform to track social media interactions.
With user intent research, you can determine exactly what customers are trying to do with your product. Then, you can produce content that helps them utilize your platform to meet their goals. This delights customers and encourages retention, enhancing the likelihood of conversions for cross-sell opportunities once customers reach the growth phase.
Keyword and user intent research are powerful tools in the inbound marketer’s toolkit, but they’re also powerful for delighting and retaining existing customers.
Keyword and user intent research help determine what customers are looking for and trying to do—both before and after the sale—you can answer customers’ questions before they have to ask them, teaching them how to get the most value out of their purchases. This builds the relationships required to turn customers into repeat buyers and brand advocates.
Get started by discovering the questions customers are asking after purchase. Then, create content that answers those questions to increase the likelihood of success, satisfaction, and future sales.
Did you know that your desk could be saying a lot more than you think? Not to be judgy, but whether or not you have considered your workspace and how it reflects your marketing style, your co-workers have.
Often the first place coworkers tend to look to get a general perception of who you are and your skills is your desk. As a Marketo Business Consultant, I see many marketer’s desks when I visit with customers.We know that marketing professionals are busy and pulled in multiple directions. So, when we see a workspace that looks, well, ‘worked,’ we tend to smile. It’s not so much the tidiness factor, but what you’re projecting to your team and whether that image will help you build upon your fundamental marketing skills. In fact, the article, “Clean Your Messy Desk, Lest Ye Be Judged,” reported that almost 60% of people had judged a co-worker based on their desk. Noting that a clean desk conveyed ‘accomplishment’ while a disorganized workspace implied ‘an out of order life.’ Positive or negative, your co-workers could be (read: are) analyzing your work based on your desk.
Marketing teams are made up of an array of diverse talents. So whether you’re a creative, an analyzer, or an intellect, it’s important that the skills you bring to the table and your personality are reflected, visually displayed, and nurtured by your workspace. So given that people are making assumptions about your personality and work style based on your desk, how can you use your desk to really reflect your personality and represent the skills you possess? In this blog, we’ll take a look at three workspace styles that I’ve seen, what they say about you, and the kind of work they are most likely to inspire.
A famous example of what a workspace says about a person occurred when Einstein passed away on April 18, 1955. Journalists immediately made their way to the Princeton Hospital, but one photographer split off from the pack and made history. Ralph Morse side-stepped the crowd at Einstein’s office at the Institute for Advanced Studies and snapped, what is now, an iconic picture. In the famous photo of Einstein’s office, there’s not an inch of desk peeking through the papers and books, and he liked it that way.
Photo credit: Ralph Morse/Time
Einstein’s office had a reputation that preceded itself. His desk was judged as ‘messy.’ His response was simple: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”
As one of the greatest minds we have known, Einstein was a creative and a creator. Like many modern marketers, it’s common to find that the creative-types have desks or offices that reflect their fast-paced environments and minds. While it’s easy for others to judge based on the (organized) chaos, psychologist Kathleen Vohs, from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, wanted to see what the typical reaction was to a little bit of chaos.
In her study, Vohs placed people in either a tidy or a messy room in order to determine if their environment affected the choices and decisions they made. The results were surprising, the people who were surrounded by tidiness chose things that were ‘classic’ or ‘conventional.’ While the other half, surrounded by messiness, made decisions based on novelty, and looked for the ‘new’ or ‘innovative’ option. In conclusion, messiness has value. The study demonstrated that mess or chaos does increase creativity and maybe, encourage a bit of rebellion against the norm.
A little chaos can go a long way. It can help us reflect on our creative side and uniqueness rather than conformity, which is good for marketers. Finding inspiration in a little disorder is a marketing style that conveys you’re innovative.
So when it comes to your workspace, it’s all about cultivating what makes you unique as a marketer. If you prefer a workspace that encourages creativity, then try adding inspirational objects to spark your creative side. Even if it’s not your norm, or comfort zone, you could try to create a space that will help foster the traits you want to cultivate. For example, you could prop up your favorite book on your desk, or a word puzzle or game that is inspiring.
We all know a marketer who has a desk that should be in a magazine. Everything is perfectly placed as if they are always ready for a photo opp. They probably take inspiration from Mary Kay Ash, the president of Mary Kay cosmetics. A famous example of a clean workspace was Mary Kay’s home office in Dallas, Texas on New Year’s day in 1982.
Photo credit: Associated Press
In the picture, Mary Kay rests on one elbow with a phone glued to her ear while intensely working. Her surroundings are calm with a neatly stacked calendar, a cup of pens, and even a place for paper clips. Being coined as a master marketer in her industry, Mary Kay had an image to uphold. Photos of her in action are examples of how life and work can reflect one another.
If you’re customer facing, like Mary Kay, tidiness can help you project your productivity and ambition. Some offices have mandated a ‘clean desk policy’ to ensure people clean their spaces, believing a clean workspace reflects ‘professionalism’ and ‘competence.’
A tidy workspace can help you stay ahead of the game. There is something to be said for a marketer that knows where everything is and can provide resources in a blink of an eye. To accomplish this, you could have an organizational strategy to help you stay productive. For example, you could use file folders for daily tasks, sticky notes, or a whiteboard to keep your workspace clear of clutter. Having a workspace set up for success conveys that you’re ready for every marketing opportunity and challenge.
To improve your already professional demeanor and workspace, you could spend less than five minutes each day straightening their desk before you head out. Putting dirty cups in the break room, wiping down spills, and throwing away trash. That way you can keep your desk organized and looking sharp. It’s then a workspace that conveys you’re ready for anything, no matter how your day unfolds.
There’s a new kid on the block. The marketer who performs in highly agile work environments, disrupts the norm, and spends most of their time working. Sound familiar? It should because most of the desks we’ve bumped into as consultants are designed for these types of workspaces. The professional disruptors are easily recognizable as the ‘middle of the road’ between organized chaos and neat as a pin.
For inspiration, we look no further than Mark Zuckerberg. Many photos taken of him in action show an office that is what you’d expect from a busy business tycoon. While it’s not as chaotic as Einstein and not as immaculate as Mary Kay, it does show a style that is more focused on work rather than status or control and order.
Mark Zuckerberg: tumblr.com
In one photo of Zuckerberg’s workspace, it shows a desk that has wires coming out of every direction, a cereal box, and a half-drunk bottle of soda as he intensely works on a laptop. So this sounds like, at least for me, it could be most of our desks after a long day at the office—right?
With this style of desk, a marketer can get the best of both worlds. They get to surround themselves with things that inspire them and spark their creativity and they have some sense of organization, which allows them to know where everything is and be able to gather it in a flash.
To achieve a marketing style like this, you can pick a day to organize, most likely the end of the week. Then throughout the week, you can leave everything where it is and focus on your tasks and projects instead. You can express your marketing style as innovative while still conveying professionalism through your workspace by keeping everything where it needs to be and adding one of two things that make you feel inspired.
To wrap up, it makes sense to stick with the style that aligns most with your talents and displays them to your team. It’s about being clear about who you are and what you bring to the table. Though if you want to try a different style to nurture new skills, by all means, forge ahead—there are definitely benefits to each type.
If you’re making a change, start small at first. If you have a clean workspace and want a little more inspiration, try adding a few distinct pieces that encourage your creativity. Or if you typically operate in an organized chaos space and want to project more professionalism through your workspace, try tidying up a bit each day. You can always take the middle of the road and focus on your work and less on your workspace throughout the week.
Ultimately, your work—marketing—should always come first. The goal is to create a space that demonstrates and reinforces what a stellar marketer you are. Look around the office and take note of the top three workspaces: organized chaos, neat as a pin, and professional disruptor. What style do you think helps foster your marketing?
The post What Does Your Desk Say About Your Marketing Style? appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.