Posted in Digital Marketing, Email Marketing

Top 5 Email Marketing Best Practices for A/B Testing

A/B Split Testing

In case you are not a digital or email marketing specialist – A/B testing also known as split testing, compares two versions of the same campaign on a certain channel. These channels include, but are not limited to:

  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Emails
  • Mobile Apps
  • Landing Pages
  • Digital Advertisements

In reality, A/B testing increases customer engagement, improves campaign effectiveness, and enlightens marketers about audience preferences. By evaluating the behaviours of buyers, A/B testing reveals what truly appeals to them. In doing so, it also advances consumer engagement, campaign effectiveness and marketer expertise.

Here are the 5 top best practices for testing and improving your email marketing strategy:

  1. Keep it simple. Testing simple elements like subject lines, from first name/last name and email copy. It is less time consuming testing these and being creative with simple test is the way forward for success.
  2. Standardise email send times. When running any split test, be sure to normalise your email broadcast times. Changes in the timing of just 30 minutes can significantly change the results of your test. Therefore, making sure email is broadcast together at an optimal time for your audience is key.
  3. Pick your sample sizes wisely. If your sample size is not significant enough, you may end up choosing a winner without actually having one. By best practice, it’s advisable to have at least 1,000 observations for any test. For example, when running a subject line test, you need at least 1,000 opens per email to get the statistical significance. If you can’t find significance, you would need to run the test again and aggregate the data.
  4. Best to test one element at a time. As a good rule of thumb, testing one variable at a time is the best way to go unlike having the thought that testing various elements would have more impact and to drive improvement. This is a big No No! By testing one variable at a time, measuring the results, and rolling out the winners into your new emails over time is the best way to driving improvement in your email marketing strategy.
  5. Check your test results. There are likely to be some test results that makes no sense at all. The finest, most engaging email might not be the cutest or your favourite but trust the data and your email results will be awesome!

I hope this blog has helped give you some split testing ideas as well as a foundation for how to test and measure your email results.

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Posted in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Digital Marketing, Latest Blog

5 Key Trends in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for 2017

Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the art of managing the organisation’s relationship with the customers and prospective clients. In simple terms, CRM includes various strategies and techniques to maintain a healthy relationship with an organisation’s existing as well as potential customers. It is essential Organisations ensure customers are satisfied with their products and services for higher customer retention in the long-run. A satisfied customer brings ten new customers with them, where a dissatisfied customer takes away ten customers along with them as well.

1. Content is Still King 

Many organisations (big and small) still struggle with managing their websites and keeping it fresh with new and relevant content. They also often fail to meet Google’s Quality Score guidelines, which power Google’s AdWords. Customers are now much more sophisticated which means that brands (organisations) need content that is interesting and relevant on all platforms, in order to make that emotional and rational connection that is necessary for engagement. Consumers expect educative, in-depth information and they want it now, which many brands struggle to keep up.

content-is-king

For this reason, marketers are creating shareable content and microsites to highlight products and promotions, but also deliver targeted messages around relevant topics to support the buying stages of the customer.

Some brands are finding that content can be four times more effective than a traditional marketing campaign and therefore are geared towards digital content channels.

2. Customer Service and Meeting Customer Experience

According to google now, the customer’s life is being divided by Micro-moments and this occur when people reflexively turn to a device – increasingly a smartphone – to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. With all this is the digital space organisations/brands now need to preside at all the possible touch points of the customer journey and optimise what works best for their business.

Customer Service and Customer Experience

According to McKinsey, 70% of a customer’s buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are treated and with word of mouth, being a power tool for your brand – meeting customer expectation with a good customer service would lead to customer loyalty plus referral business.

The key to satisfying the empowered customer is offering a holistic experience across all company touch points and developing the infrastructure that allows for knowledge sharing and smart communication is essential. Most smart organisations will streamline or eliminate the transactional parts of the customer experience that they think don’t add to the customer experience, they just get in the way.

Although, customer loyalty is directly correlated to the customer’s brand experience having trustworthy personal interactions both before and after a purchase has been made will be the number one priority of all customer-facing companies.

Marketing campaign strategies using engaging content creation, loyalty programs and gamification will continue to play an integral role in the customer experience development, but so will initiatives that enable a holistic experience.

3. Geo-location Technology

Geo-location is the identification or estimation of the real-world geographic location of an object, such as a radar source, mobile phone, or Internet-connected computer terminal.

Customers near or in digital kiosks can now receive geo-targeted messages and offers on their mobile devices – thanks to geomarketing. Various brands online can now, via mobile phone signals, track customer movements around and within a store location. Some smart online retailers can even identify repeat shoppers and keep a record of them in store behaviour on file.

Geomarketing and targeting

With web beacon technology, it is now possible to push messages to consumers whenever online brands think they are relevant to their consumers based on their behavioural history of activity they hold.

4. Personalisation and Customisation

In order to get the attention and good engagement of your customer, brands/organisations would need to know more about their customers and use that insight to talk, engage and interact with them more often and more meaningfully in new and innovative ways (example mobile, dynamic content, apps, blogs and social media). Having static websites with no refreshed content often would no longer be enough; they need to be social, inspirational, and personal.

Personalisation and Customisation

For example, the use of recipients’ real names in email messages is crucial now. The days of “Dear friend,” and “Hi Customer” are all obnoxious greetings for your email communications. Getting a prospects or lead’s name is one of the easiest piece of lead intelligence to gather for a customer journey. If they filled out a data capture form, at the very least, you got their name and email address, right? If not, you probably shouldn’t be emailing them.Most email service providers have the capability to enable you to customise your email messages with the recipient’s first name, so why not take advantage of it! Like it or not, 2017 is going to be up close and personal.

Most email service providers have the capability to enable you to customise your email messages with the recipient’s first name, so why not take advantage of it! Like it or not, 2017 is going to be up close and personal.

5.Omnichannel Approach

Omnichannel is defined as an approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store. Those companies that understand that the brand’s offline dynamism needs to be recreated online – that sense of discovery, inspiration and entertainment – will be the companies that survive and benefit substantially.


Omnichannel marketing

Mobile marketing is mainstream now and will continue to grow and dominate the digital landscape. Mobile will now need to be put as central and pivotal to the omnichannel journey. Encouraged by Facebook, we will see more on-demand services brought to messenger platforms. As mobile apps are the primary way people access social media. Start deliberation with mobile and progress the design up to larger screens, implementing strategies that touch the consumer’s browsing and buying journey. This includes arming the floor sales force with mobile technology to check inventory, place orders or make a sale and you would be laughing with your sales figures….

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Posted in Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing

6 Proven Tactics to Adopt to Increase Your Email Open Rate in 2017

Email marketing has evolved rapidly alongside the technological growth that has occurred throughout the 21st century. Email marketing specialist in various organisations spend a lot of time thinking about how to increase their email open rates during campaigns.

After broadcasting every email you send, you eagerly check your reports and take a look at your open rate results. Have they improved or worsen? Do some of your customers open your emails more than others? Was your subject line the best it could be for that campaign? These are the major post-mortem marketers normally engage in after dispatching an email campaign.

Data driven marketing has come to stay with most modern email software’s providing business intelligence /analytic’s from device used to access the email, which email domain produced best open rate etc.

Below are 6 proven best practice steps to follow to improve email open rate this year:

1. Keep your customer engaged and offer them something of value

Whenever your customers have the impression your brand send them interesting, engaging emails, open rates will definitely be high. If you are sending information that doesn’t resonate, it promotional all the time – customers send your emails to junk or unsubscribe. Sending high-quality email less frequently is one of the best ways to keep open rates high.

customer-enagement-email-open-blog2. Use mobile responsive email templates

If your brand’s email messages don’t read well on mobile devices, then you’re in trouble. It is estimated that 74 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to access their emails, and mobile now represents 51 percent of all email opens. When your emails display well on mobile, you will see an improvement in your open rates, in addition to enjoying higher engagement and more clicks.

3. Make sure your contact list is up to date

How often do email specialist/marketers go through their contact database to make sure email address issues are resolved? When was the last time you sent out an “update profile form” to make sure you are targeting and reaching the right audience with the most up to date email address?

According to Constant Contact, email address domains like Comcast and Verizon tend to have higher open rates compared to account from Hotmail and Yahoo. Finding the time to get your contact database organised and looking at  opportunities to resolve any issues on hard and soft bounces are quiet crucial to keeping your list updated and working towards a higher open rate for your email campaigns.

 4. Segment your mailing list

Segmenting your email database based on audience interest and behaviour is one of the most effective ways to increase your open rate and ROI in email marketing. Campaigns sent to customers with more personalised content is likely to result in good open rates on average.

email-segmentation-blog

The whole point of segmentation is to provide more relevant content to your email recipients at all times of the buying cycle. To achieve this, you would need to take steps to craft more targeted campaigns taking into account your database list based on (geography, age, gender, persona, organisation type,  job function, industry, level of education,  purchase interest, buying frequency, purchase history etc.) and also lead data, and trigger events that help customize your email campaigns further.

5. Adoption of real-time personalisation

email-personalisation

Using first or last name approach to get attention and a good open rate is no longer the best work to keep your customers engaged anymore. To get the best from email personalisation, much emphasis needs to be placed on real-time marketing. That is being customer centric and making the customer centre of every touch point. With brands understanding their prospect/customer needs, place, situation and daily habits, content can be tailored in the best possible way during the day, week or month to get the best value and engagement from your customers.

An email recipient receiving a marketing promotion content at the right moment is likely to be engaged and take the right call to action rather that generic content  that is not tailored to the customers past behaviour.

 6. Data driven marketing is key going forward

According to the Direct marketing association 42% of email specialist think data was their biggest obstacle  to personalised emails and therefore as essential for marketers to really get that business intelligence and strategy right. Data-driven marketing refers to the marketing insights and decisions that arise from the analysis of data about or from consumers. This is in plain terms, the principle of delivering a personalised customer experience with the intelligence from a customer point of view of a brand.

data-driven-marketing-gmfrem

Therefore, brands that are really taking advantage of data and working collaboratively with their teams to deliver insightful and relevant product/service to the customer in real time get the best engagement and valuable result for their brand.

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Posted in Digital Marketing, Direct Mail, Latest Blog, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media

5 Reasons to Integrate Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

Business mailing lists still rank among the most customizable and therefore most effective methods for messaging an audience of potential customers. Direct mail may not necessarily be the cheapest, but cheap marketing doesn’t always make for a great customer engagement and brand reputation.

Direct mail – in the era of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, and Amazon – may seem to the digital marketing enthusiast to be a thing of the past. Digital Ad viewability remains an issue in the digital landscape. With response rates from email marketing remaining in decline, thanks to the efforts of Gmail and other email providers’ to auto-route commercial emails to hidden areas behind the “promotional” tabs . Although Content Marketing has become the main strategy for digital marketers it remains an uphill battle in the digital environment in which the supply of content exceeds the supply of human readers (demand).

Customer Contact Touch-Point
How your customers want to be contacted?

Direct mail is however, still effective for a couple of reasons.

  1. Direct Postal Mail Gives You a True Opt-in

Using direct mail to entice your customers to visit a customised uniform resource identifier (URL) or activating an app or QR code (Quick Response Code) is an excellent way to assemble lists of truly engaged customers. Integration of postal mail campaigns with marketing automation suites and standard analytics packages is easier than ever.

  1. Digitise your Print Effort

Integrating digital tools incorporated into a direct mail campaign, can help track your customers movements as they make their decisions. For example, a QR code that leads to your app or a personalized URL that leads to a landing page, or social media account information all help you track where your customers come from, how interested they are in your products, and what information they might need to complete a purchase. Blending your direct mail and digital marketing strategies isn’t hard, either.

  1. Perfect for Local Business Branding

When mixed with a solid digital marketing campaign, direct mail can really boost local business reputation and brand awareness. Your mail pieces can grab the attention of customers in your local area and direct them to social media accounts and your brand website.

  1. Offer Exclusive Benefits – Discount or Promotion

One of the main reasons consumers indicate for subscribing to mailing lists, social media channels and newsletters for their beloved brands is their desire to keep apprised of hot new sales, deals and news, as well as receive exclusive coupons. Anticipating special offers normally keep consumers on the lookout for your direct mail. Without the initial touch from you in their mailbox, customers might never find you and remember once you have a good promotion or discount – word of mouth can be a perfect tool for your brand as well boosting searches online.

  1. Traditionally Customers still love Postcards and Physical Mail

When you send a marketing e-mail, the only chance your brand gets to catch your buyers’ eyes is the subject line and through personalisation. Most customers won’t even look at that before performing a mass delete of messages in their inbox. We all agree there is too much email content to consume on a daily basis don’t we?

With direct mail, however, recipients won’t be able to avoid seeing the message, even if only for a moment. That kind of visibility makes your direct mail much more powerful and that resonates with your customers.

At first glance, direct mail marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) have absolutely nothing in common –these are two different monsters. But if consumers don’t know to look for your brand online, your SEO doesn’t really help much in anyway, does it..? By introducing yourself through direct mail, you put your brand on prospects’ radars. Including a URL (landing page to collect enquiries) for your company, does result in search result skyrocketing high for your brand. The more relevant Google thinks your site is, the more likely you will be shown up higher in search rankings. Whether customers find your website through a Google search or by entering your direct website address, search engines give you points for relevance.

 

Posted in Digital Marketing, Latest Blog, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media

How Content Management System (CMS) can enhance Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

 

Content -Managment-SystemIt is estimated that about 75% of Internet users make judgments about a company’s credibility based on its website design. When customers can’t find your website through search engines, your content will go to waste – no matter how great or outstanding it is.

Having a good Content Management System helps manage four vital steps for search engine optimization (SEO):

  1. Uniform Resource Locator (URL) redirects: If you are re-launching a website, some of your web pages might have new URL’s. Employing 301 redirects can lead your website visitors and search engines to the new URL and preserve search engine rankings for those pages – following this step would still keep your ranking rather than drop out completely.
  2. Custom URL and page metadata: Having a CMS allows customisation of page titles, URL’s description metadata to include important keywords related to your business. By tailoring this data for the site, you can make a significant impact on search engine rankings.
  3. Extensible Markup Language (XML) Sitemap: When a website goes live, you can use a CMS to create an XML sitemap of your entire website. Having a sitemap is an essential requirement that helps search engines understands your site’s structure and content.
  4. Site Page-Load Performance: According to KISSmetrics, around 40% of website visitors leave a website that takes more than 3 secs to load. A CMS can cache static components of web pages so they will load quickly and prevent search engine penalties for slow website performance.

In conclusion, websites have become a primary space where people interact with a company or brand and therefore the success or failure of your digital marketing strategy does depend hugely on how well your websites performs in search engines.

Posted in Digital Marketing, Latest Blog, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media

5 Important Ways To Improve Your Landing Page And Convert Customers

Landing Page Main Image

In digital marketing, a landing page is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimised search result or an online advertisement. In practical terms, it’s every businesses online store window and centre of all inbound leads generation efforts and the link back to every campaign that is being executed or live.

Most businesses online put a lot of time and money in driving business to the landing pages through email offers, pay per click advertising, social media ads, search engine marketing campaigns with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of their advertisement. With return on investment being key in every Marcoms department budget for cutting edge organisation now, neglecting and not refreshing your advertising landing pages could lead to bad returns for your advertising spend. Ignoring this could lead to high bounce rates and a lower conversion rate.

How many times have you clicked through an ad, specific to your needs and found yourself on a page that has no relevance to the link? What action did you take? Leave…off course! By spending time designing appropriate landing pages, tracking results, using data analytics to improve conversion, and consistently conducting tests along the way, companies will be able to create a more positive user experience and convert targeted traffic into qualified leads for maximum revenue.

Mobile Friendly image

Here are 5 easy tips that you can use to start converting more web traffic to qualified leads:

  1. Think Mobile Friendly and Be Responsive – With mobile devices now holding one third of all Internet traffic flow, businesses can no longer ignore the importance of designing mobile friendly landing pages. Customers are constantly on the move now and viewing content on their mobile devices (tablets, smart phones)
  2. Consistent Messaging and a Clear Call to Action – Make sure there is consistent messaging throughout the click-through process for the web user. The Call-to-action should be consistent from your online ad campaign to the landing page. The visitor wants to know what they will receive when they take the action you are pushing them towards. For example, if you are after capturing their data information by offering a free downloadable PDF document as bait, then make it clear – once they fill out their details they should receive the PDF momentarily. This builds trust between you and your customers, from the beginning of the process as they understand what you are asking them to do. Please avoid any hidden nasty surprises.
  3. Attention Grabbing Subject lines with Motivations – Having a click-worthy subject line is important in capturing early interest and engaging web visitors, encouraging them to continue reading and learn more is vital. Just like newspapers and magazines, the headline needs to be relevant and a teaser for what the content is going to include. Descriptive enough that the viewer will understand that it is relevant to them but still a little intriguing that it creates overall interest.
  4. Customer Testimonials and Reviews – Customer reviews are a great way of building trust and establishing your integrity as a brand. Another way of getting across your companies achievements and successes is highlighting current customer testimonials about your product/service or solution with how it has benefited other users.
  5. Build Trust and Reassure your Customers – often the traffic you have generated from your ad campaigns are unfamiliar with your brand sometimes but have reacted to your content. Including any recognisable industry awards, certifications, associated partners clearly on your landing page does help to reassure visitors of your credibility as a trusted brand.

Lastly, it is also important to have some value proposition, features and benefits somewhere on your landing page briefly being mindful of too much text as it makes the page too heavy.

Posted in Digital Marketing, Latest Blog, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media

Social Media Round-up for October – What’s new for Facebook?

facebook latest updatesFacebook

More than 1 billion people logged on to Facebook 2.39% on Monday 27th August 2015, marking the first time the social media giant had surpassed 1 billion users in a single day. According to the founder Mark Zuckerberg profile page “On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family,” the entrepreneur wrote.

As ever, nothing has stood still with this social media giant, with July seeing a big focus on video. It has announced that actions on videos will now count towards News Feed rankings, with key indicators such as users turning sound on or making a video full screen taken as showing interest in the content, even if it is not subsequently liked.

Secret videos for publishers have also been announced, which “give Page owners the ability to upload videos that are accessible only via a direct URL, but which are not searchable for people on Facebook. This is useful for publishers who want to host videos on Facebook, embed them on third-party sites or share them with anyone who has the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), without posting them anywhere else on Facebook.”

Facebook has also launched an enhanced video upload process and library, to give more control over how videos are organised and shared. It is also testing the idea of floating videos which pop out of your feed but continue playing as you scroll, as well as a watch later button.

There is also a new videos tab in page insights, giving users an easy and quick way to check video performance and Facebook has also given advertisers the option of only being charged once videos are viewed for over 10 seconds, instead of immediately.

“Liking” on Facebook is about to get interesting……. with new ‘reactions’ emotions – Are you ready!

Facebook would be rolling out several emotions you will be able to use soon – (Thumb fans, don’t despair, that’s not going anywhere). These reactions will let users express love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger going forward.

How is this going to work?

This functionality would work by hovering or long-pressing the Like button and selecting the relevant emoji that you want to put in your message. The status will then count how many likes, loves, angers, etc. you’ve had.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, the social network was finally working on a “dislike button” after years of calls from loyal users. At the time, he said he wanted people to be able to show empathy, but not to put down other people’s posts.

Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox assured users the new “expressive like button” is being rolled out in a test run starting in Ireland and Spain. “As you can see, it’s not a ‘dislike’ button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly.”

According to Chris Cox, the social networking site studied the comments and reactions most commonly expressed across Facebook before coming up with what he calls an “elegant and fun” design around them.

The company has assured it users it hopes to roll the feature out to everyone soon.

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