Tag: Marketo Marketing Blog

The 5 Elements of an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for 2017 and Beyond

A digital marketing strategy is a marketing plan that draws on insights from almost every department within a company to design and implement seamless brand communications across every digital channel. Popular digital marketing channels include the company website, organic search, paid search, social media, and email.

But digital technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and taking everything else with it. An effective digital marketing strategy for 2017 looks almost nothing like a strategy from 2015.

So how do you create a scalable digital marketing strategy?

We talked to six leading digital marketing experts to get their unique insights on strategy teams, tips, tools, metrics, and more.

Today’s Digital Marketing Strategy Team

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, meaning you always need to have a fresh strategy, which can only come from a fresh team.

The strategy can’t expand unless the team expands, which is why a modern digital marketing team needs to include decision-makers, visionaries, and voices from across the company.

Michael Brenner—globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula, and CEO of Marketing Insider Group—agrees:

Everything is digital! So in order to create a digital strategy, you need to include all teams across the marketing organization, your agencies, and sales as well. I even like to include HR to make sure employer branding activities are represented.—Michael Brenner

Andy Crestodina, co-founder and the Strategic Director of the award-winning web design company Orbit Media, includes everyone in his strategy team as well, but outlines clear roles to keep things running smoothly:

A strategy is just a plan to reach a specific goal. For a marketing plan, the goals have a major business impact. So involvement should go all the way to the top. The “RASCI” model is a good tool for assigning responsibilities. It helps specify five levels of involvement, showing who is responsible, accountable, support, consulted, and informed. — Andy Crestodina

The need for integration, cross-communication, and company-wide involvement in the strategy process is crucial. Drew Neisser, CEO of Renegade LLC, points out just how important integration really is:

I’m not a fan of having a separate digital marketing strategy. Consumers don’t differentiate between offline and online brand interactions, so why should brands?—Drew Neisser

For that matter, customers don’t differentiate between marketing, sales, or customer service—online or offline, or from one channel to the next. Integration and seamless communication are key, and that means your strategy needs to include insights from every touchpoint.

Advancing a Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing is coming into its own, but it’s by no means a new concept. Some of the standard best practices are well established in most marketing departments, but what’s next? John Boitnott, a journalist, and digital consultant encourages marketers to then push into forecasting:

Digital marketing strategies require forecasting so you can see what’s coming, whether it’s a new technology, product, or demographic that might be complementary to your company in the future. Actually mining the data/big data you have is critical for forecasting. A willingness to experiment, work outside established best practices, and test out ideas is one of the best attitudes a digital marketing team can have.—John Boitnott

The idea of forecasting can sound futuristic and “too big” for some small and medium-sized companies, but the technology exists to put predictive strategies in reach for any brand. A good engagement platform should be able to use predictive analytics for content, social marketing, lead scoring, and more.

And that’s what all the advanced strategies point to engagement. Consumers and buyers respond to personalized content that connects a brand story to their personal stories.

John Jantsch—marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Marketing—agrees that storytelling needs to remain central.

The entire strategy should be based on your core customer story. In addition to personas and core messages, you should include the customer’s (hero’s) journey story and how your organization is uniquely suited to act as the guide for this journey. Further, there should be a section of channels – where you can reach your prospect, how you can move them, and where you might experiment.—John Jantsch

Digital marketing strategies are changing as fast as technology is advancing and audience expectations are evolving. Digital marketing is about keeping your ear to the ground for what’s coming, but also staying focused on the story you are telling.

Digital Marketing Tools

There is no shortage of digital marketing tools and apps that promise to make our jobs easier. In the past, the savvy marketer had the latest software, but in 2017 the savvy marketer is the one who knows how to strategically choose which tools their organization needs.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all list of digital marketing tools. The systems and platforms a company invests in will have to do with that company’s specific needs, goals, audience, and more. Not least of all, it has to do with a brand’s internal resources.

Brands need to make sure they have the tools that match not just their ambitions but also their willingness to invest in every added tool. No tools, even those with the most sophisticated artificial intelligence engines, work without human oversight. We’ve seen a lot of brands invest in tools and then underuse them because they forgot to add staff.—Drew Neisser

Build your MarTech stack one tool at a time, and make sure each one is fully integrated before you move on. Don’t invest in something that hasn’t been tested by every stakeholder involved.

As you add and optimize tools, be careful not to get trapped by them. Chris Weaver, Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy at MWI, uses some conventional … and some less conventional tools.

Our team has a lot of virtual members so we are big components of performance tools. We use JIRA to manage our AGILE approach and Asana for task management outside of the JIRA platform. But my personal must-have tool is running at the gym. It is amazing how stepping away from your machine, if only for 30 minutes, and resetting your brain improves your thought. — Chris Weaver

Oli Gardner, Co-Founder and Conversion Marketing Optimization Expert at Unbounce, agrees that tools are great, but only if the processes are placed:

Tools are an essential part of how we work, but often it’s more important that we focus our time on optimizing the process as opposed to finding the next tool to add to our stack. Part of this is to optimize the working relationship between marketers, designers, and copywriters.—Oli Gardner

There is a lot of cool MarTech out there, and even sophisticated, professional marketers have been known to get a little star-struck by a shiny new marketing tool. If you’re easily enraptured by technology, make sure there’s someone on your team who hates change (well, maybe not hates, but resists) to help keep you balanced and to keep the whole strategy on the ground.

Digital Marketing Metrics

An advanced digital marketing strategy starts with advanced marketing metrics and analytics. Modern marketers have access to a long list of metrics.

The granularity has put off some marketers in the past, but digital marketing metrics have become more focused. Marketers can—and should—choose and isolate the metrics that relate directly to revenue and stated goals.

Metrics should be dictated by your industry and goals. However, you should be measuring the impact of any undertaking whether it’s social media campaigns or email blasts. Knowing if your efforts had an impact, how much, where, when and how is key to improving your marketing efforts.—John Boitnott

[Focus on] as few [metrics] as possible and only those that can be tied specifically to stated objectives. Metrics are different for everyone, but the one thing I do see a lot of firms doing is measuring because they can. Measure things that help you make decisions based on your priorities.—John Jantsch

While marketers build their lists of relevant metrics, there are a few, of course, that remain universal. Crestodina urges marketers to look beyond traffic numbers to metrics that actually reflect revenue-impact:

Look beyond the traffic. What happens after the visitor arrives? What is their experience on the site? Did they bounce? Did they convert? Great digital marketing plans focus on conversion rates just as much as traffic … so plan the visit. Think about the landing pages and the mindset of the visitor. Think about their questions or concerns.—Andy Crestodina

Additionally, Neisser and Gardner emphasize lifetime value:

LTV, or lifetime value, is the ideal metric in that it takes into account the true value of acquiring the right customers.—Drew Neisser

Lifetime value is the ultimate measurements of success. If you’re relentlessly focused on LTV you’ll be more likely to create the right long-term strategy.—Oli Gardner

An effective metrics and analytics system starts with a list of stated goals. Work backward to identify which metrics related directly to those goals, and tie digital marketing efforts directly to revenue. Those are the insights that will help develop an effective strategy, and those are the numbers the C-suite wants to see.

Digital Marketing Secrets

As digital marketing continues to march forward, there are some strategies that have slipped through the cracks and others that are just coming over the horizon. 

Perhaps the easiest strategy to overlook in a digital marketplace is authenticity, which is why marketers in the Engagement Economy are driving such a turn-around.

Be human. Share your sense of humor and your idiosyncrasies. People do business with people and mainly with people they like. This is as true for business-to-business brands as it is for consumer brands. Without this humanity, your strategy will yield inhuman if not inhumane results!—Drew Neisser

Your brand voice should be authentic and human, but it still needs to drip with expertise and authority. The simplest way to do that, and another often overlooked strategy, is to tap all of your internal resources. Your company is full of subject matter experts and experienced professionals. Give them a voice or give them opportunities to build the brand’s voice. Brenner calls it is “marketing superpower:”

One strategy I’m really focused on right now is the hidden power of your activating employees to both create content and amplify your reach. This is currently the marketing superpower secret that I’m working on with a number of clients.—Michael Brenner

Jantsch agrees:

Go inside. Marketing is not just for the marketing department. The more people you can get involved in social media and content production, the more successful your strategy will be.—John Jantsch

Chris Weaver helps his clients develop and implement holistic digital marketing strategies, and has noticed a unique trend lately:

We are seeing more and more clients choosing to go to a multiple boutique agency model vs. the full-service agency model. And if that is the case, being able to tie your services in with others goes a long way. If your client is using traditional advertising along with digital efforts, being able to create a seamless experience goes a long way in regards to results.—Chris Weaver

It’s okay to specialize and to let your audience know. Advertise your partner brands, and create and optimize content that thoroughly explains how your products and/or services integrate with other industry-leading solutions.

Digital Marketing Strategy

Marketing has always been an exciting field because it never sits still. Technology drives people’s expectations, which push technology to advance again. Marketers have always been on the front lines using new communication methods and tools to reach audiences.

Today’s digital marketing strategies require a balance of new tools and tested best practices; an ear to the ground and a hand on proven processes. Marketers need a customized MarTech stack and a customized set of metrics.

And all of it starts with a fresh, expanded digital marketing team. If it’s time to update your strategy, start inviting new team members into the conversation. One new voice from customer service, order fulfillment, or the social media team could provide the insight you need for the first change or shift. When that’s integrated, invite someone else.

Whatever you do, don’t sit still.

The post The 5 Elements of an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for 2017 and Beyond appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/10/5-elements-effective-digital-marketing-strategy-2017-beyond.html

Advertisements

Moving from Volume to Value with Artificial Intelligence (AI) Built for Marketers

As a modern marketer, you know all too well how challenging it is to satisfy today’s demanding buyers. You’re doing your best to meet their ever-growing expectations for personalized and relevant experiences in the moment. It’s clear that marketers who shift from volume-based, one-size-fits-most communication to engaging segments of one with high-value experiences will be the ones who win over the hearts and minds of their customers.

Enhance Your Marketing Expertise with AI

The good news is that you can pivot to engage on a personal level—even on a massive scale—with artificial intelligence (AI) built for marketers. AI helps make sense of all your customer data in the moment so you can truly deliver value-based, relevant experiences, and conversations. Simply put, it enables personalized experiences to a newfound degree. And that makes it possible for you to more effectively get more prospects and customers to engage with your brand.

When built with the marketer in mind, and with all of your customer data in a single location so that it has all the raw ingredients to work with, AI makes this vision a reality because it is designed to look at all you know about each person you’re engaging with. It does so with amazing velocity to quickly and precisely determine the next, right interaction and experience. Put another way, it gives you the speed and precision to engage in the moment with the right message in the right channel at unprecedented rates. And it does this in a much more organic, scalable, and sustainable way than you could ever achieve as a mere mortal.

Making It Real

Explorations of the potential of AI can feel a bit pie-in-the-skyish. So, let’s make this real by outlining actual scenarios where you can apply AI.

  • Predict the right programs for the right people. First, AI built for marketers helps you determine the most logical and effective way to engage your target audiences, helping you plan accordingly. It’s not far-fetched that you will be able to dictate a goal and push a button on your AI-powered “marketing assistant” for recommended programs to run for each audience. That means you can predict and align with your audience’s interests and wants.
  • Personalize with confidence. Next, AI helps you put your plan into action. As you fine-tune and come to trust your AI assistant, you’ll achieve increasingly refined segmentation. In other words, you can personalize with confidence at scale. You’ll know the right interactions, experiences, and content at the right moment in the right channel for everyone you’re engaging with.
  • Perform to the Nth degree. Because AI helps you scale your segmentation and personalization efforts exponentially, 1:1 marketing becomes a reality. With machine-driven predictions and personalization, you can optimize campaigns and experiences at an unprecedented rate. When you drive 1:1 engagement in the moment, you deliver memorable, tailored experiences that convert buyers faster and retain them longer. Simply put, AI equips you to build customers for life and drive exponential growth—all within budget.

What’s Needed to Succeed?

As good as this all sounds, AI is only as good as the data it sits on. It draws conclusions and recommends the right experiences by sifting through and analyzing vast quantities of data. And then it executes those recommendations on your behalf—upon your command—by tying into the systems that drive engagements. So, for AI to truly work, it needs to call upon a centralized repository of everything you know about your prospects and customers. And it needs to interact with your channels of engagement to deliver the right experience to each prospect and customer.

Put this unified marketing platform and integrations in place and you’ll drive powerful results: 1:1 engagement in the moment that converts buyers faster and keeps them coming back. Imagine engaging smarter and growing revenues without increasing your budget. Now that’s truly moving from volume to value!

What potential do you see for yourself and your team when it comes to using AI built for marketers? What impact do you expect it will have? Tell me about your plans and perspective in the comments below.

The post Moving from Volume to Value with Artificial Intelligence (AI) Built for Marketers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/10/moving-volume-value-artificial-intelligence-ai-built-marketers.html

How to Use Drip Campaigns to Nurture Existing Customers

Many marketers understand the power of implementing automated drip campaigns to turn leads into customers by moving them through the sales cycle. Truly successful marketers know the best bang for your marketing buck comes from using drip campaigns to nurture existing customers.

Why?

Smart marketers know that it’s easier and more cost effective to sell to existing customers than it is to cultivate new leads. How much easier and more effective? According to the authors of Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.

That’s math anyone can understand and it’s a process that begins with onboarding new customers.

Of course, successful customer drip campaigns start with a content marketing strategy that guides your efforts and keeps you focused on what you want to accomplish with your drip. Beginning with a well-defined strategy allows you to create drip campaigns that respond to the specific needs and interests of specific customers.

In this blog, I’ll give a deeper dive into how to create a drip campaign with your existing customers in mind. 

Begin With the End in Mind

When creating drip campaigns set expectations from the very beginning and provide additional value from the start of what should be a long and valuable relationship.

  • Welcome Email
    A well-crafted welcome email should give customers exactly what they’re looking for–plus a little something extra that acts as a “thank you” for becoming a customer. Provide them with all the information they need to get started then offer a link to supporting content or access to educational content such as a white paper or ebook. Sometimes all you need to add is information on how to contact support if the customer needs help or has questions. Another way to welcome and thank new customers is to provide an offer or discount on future purchases. However, don’t underestimate the power and value of simply providing useful content.
  • Blogs
    Welcome emails are also a great way to introduce new customers to your blog.  Provide new clients with a link to a sample blog post that is relevant to them. That blog post should contain links to other posts on the same or similar topics. Evergreen blog posts should be part of your overall strategy because they can be used in multiple ways to help current and potential customers. A great evergreen post can drive valuable traffic to your site for years—both through SEO and in your email nurture program.
  • Segment and Set Rules
    Content segmentation allows you to personalize and tailor campaigns to specific audiences. Use your marketing automation platform to set rules and triggers to ensure you proactively deliver relevant, specific content that matches your customers’ viewing and search behaviors while they are on your website. Serving your customers relevant content can help move them closer to another sale.

Offer Solutions and Establish Thought Leadership

Drip campaigns are excellent for promoting useful content that establishes you as a valued thought leader. Build trust and deepen relationships with well-planned nurtures. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.

  • Don’t Sell
    If you want to establish long and profitable relationships with your customers, create helpful drip campaigns that educate and inform them on topics, industry issues, and solutions to their problems. By providing valuable information, you’ll reinforce the importance of your relationship and greatly increase the odds that your customer will return.
  • Exclusive Content
    By offering exclusive client-only content, you kill two birds with one stone by taking advantage of the most powerful tools of influence: scarcity and reciprocation. Recipients are more likely to open exclusive content. The fact that it is exclusive suggests the content is extremely valuable. Exclusive content also plays into your customers’ egos. By offering them special, “for-your-eyes-only” content, you’ve made them feel unique and valued. This special offer can increase the odds of reciprocation by your customers through new and purchases or return visits to your site.
  • Link to Important Blog Posts
    Knowledge is power. Providing customers with links to helpful blog posts is one of the easiest ways to give them access to information that can help them succeed. Make no mistake about it, in the eyes of the customer, you haven’t just given them a post, you’ve given them a gift. A simple link gives your customer access to a no-strings-attached gift that helps them and builds goodwill with your brand.

It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day, and Your Email’s Feeling Good

Feel-good emails are a great tool for building rapport, trust, and confidence with your customers. What’s a feel-good email? Here are examples of just four proven emails that make your customer feel appreciated and top-of-mind.

  • Anniversary Emails
    Emails celebrating anniversaries and other milestones are great for increasing engagement. The secret to successful anniversary-style emails is to make sure they’re all about celebrating the customer, not your company, product, or service. Done correctly, anniversary emails make the customer feel important, appreciated, and part of the family.
  • Holiday Emails
    The problem with most holiday emails is they just seem to be celebrating Spam Day. Great holiday emails know how to break through the noise by connecting emotionally with the spirit of the holiday. Don’t make your email about just another sale. Make it exclusive to your customer’s preferences through segmentation. Whether you’re offering an exclusive discount, a free gift or unique content, donating proceeds to a charity, or simply seasons greeting, holiday emails should be about the spirit of the holiday and not commercialization.
  • Industry-Related Event Reminders
    Event reminders are thoughtful, useful, and an easy way to get a big relationship return on almost no investment. They provide valuable information that can benefit your customer and let them know you think of them as part of a bigger family. Even if they don’t attend the event, this is one of those emails where it’s the thought that counts.
  • Client Newsletters
    Newsletters are a lot like magicians: most are bad, uninteresting, and intrusive. But the great ones are nothing short of amazing. You can find a lot of examples of great newsletters online. Here are three solid rules of thumb to get you started:

    1. Your subject line is the most import content in your newsletter. The subject is often the determining factor for whether a recipient opens it or not. Spend as much time on your subject line as you do on your content.
    2. 90% of your newsletter should be useful, relevant content, and only 10% should be an offer or company specific.
    3. Make your opt-out easy or all of your content will start looking like spam.

The Write Stuff

Remember: it’s far more cost effective to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one, so customer drip campaigns are not the place to “fake it ‘til you make it.”

Your success relies on providing real, valuable content. Anything less will set off your customers’ insincerity meter and risk creating the perception that all of your content belongs in the junk folder. Give content the short stick and your clients will likely do the same for you.

How have you utilized drip campaigns with your existing customers? What successes have you seen with this engagement strategy? Tell me about your experiences below in the comments.

5006-15163-Dreamforce 2017- Blog Banner

 

The post How to Use Drip Campaigns to Nurture Existing Customers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/10/use-drip-campaigns-nurture-existing-customers.html

3 Key Challenges Marketers Face & How to Overcome Them

Today’s marketer continues to face steep challenges when it comes to engaging with customers across multiple channels and touchpoints. It takes both smart marketing and the right technology to be able to listen, learn and respond to your customer at speed and with scale. Yet according to Marketo’s recently released The State of Engagement report, nearly half of the marketers surveyed (48%) said that finding the appropriate tools to enable them to engage with customers is the biggest challenge they face today.

In this blog, I’ll highlight 3 challenges marketers are facing today and marketing technology innovations that are helping them to overcome them—including some that are included in our latest product release.

Challenge #1: Engagement Doesn’t Happen Effectively Without Coordinated Data and Insights

Marketers today have access to more data than ever before. But, delivering experiences that will truly engage your customers requires you to go beyond the numbers—you’ve got to be able to translate data into actionable insights. There’s no question that it can be challenging to understand all the signals consumers share and how to leverage the data from those signals to deliver personalized, authentic messages. That’s where marketers should look to tools to help inform their strategies for deeper engagement.

For email marketers, tools like Marketo Email Insights is one way to gain insights into email performance. Using historical data, marketers can see trends in email delivery and engagement metrics and break results down by audience, content, and platform. And, in our recent release, we made several enhancements that give marketers new ways to prepare, analyze, and share email performance data— elevating it from highlighting interesting points to delivering actionable insights.

Another way marketers are leveraging data to deliver personalized experiences is through artificial intelligence (AI). The new Marketo ContentAI enables marketers to personalize interactions for broad audiences as precisely as if you were marketing to a segment of one, and it does it by using AI-powered insights to predict the best content to engage each individual. In Marketo’s summer release, new AI-based analytics provide rich insights into which of your content assets are most popular, which are trending, and how specific content pieces are performing for defined audiences (location, industry, visitor type). With machine learning tools like ContentAI powering predictive content on website, mobile, and email, your mountains of data are quickly synthesized to provide the insights needed to match the right content to the right audience for the highest possible engagement with your brand—something that simply isn’t scalable without technology.

Challenge #2: Engagement Doesn’t Happen Without Personalization

What’s the number one reason consumers don’t engage more often? The answer may surprise you.  According to Marketo’s State of Engagement research, the answer is irrelevant content. People don’t engage with brands they feel don’t speak to them. This is likely because interactions that don’t provide the right message, offer, or content, fail to deliver any meaningful value. Here’s where tools like ContentAI that I wrote about above offer tremendous value. They help marketers make sense of their content engagement data and choose the best assets to use to target individuals across segments. With AI-recommended content to help drive higher engagement, marketers must ensure they’re equipped with the right tools that enable them to deliver relevant content to each individual at the right time and in the right place, at scale.

And because websites are a main point of interaction between prospects and content, it’s not surprising that tools like Marketo Web Personalization are rapidly becoming a priority for marketers seeking to deliver a deeply personalized experience with individuals in real-time. Offering up personalized messaging, content, and offers based on firmographic, demographic, and behavioral data is a powerful way for marketers to ensure site visitors are always met with an engaging experience on the web. Why is this critical? When it comes to audience attention, according to a study by eMarketer, 83% of B2B buyers say company websites are the most popular channel for online research. Based on our research in The State of Engagement, more than 60% of consumers (both B2B and B2C) expect all of their interactions with brands to be personalized.

In our Q3 release, we’re giving marketers even more ways to deliver a personalized experience with more flexible personalization campaigns. As a marketer, you know your audience and what works for your business best, and so we’ve made it easier than ever to preview web personalization campaigns to see what they will look like across different devices. Now, there are even more ways to trigger campaigns based on a visitor’s activity like time spent on a page or specific movements on the page. All of these enhancements were designed specifically to help marketers present relevant content for a more personalized engaging experience every time.

Challenge #3: Engagement doesn’t happen in silos

In a world where every experience matters, siloed, unconnected teams are failing to create real connections with buyers and customers. For most, the real challenge is working cross-functionally to unite all customer-facing teams around the customer experience. To win in the Engagement Economy, two teams that have to work in lockstep are Sales and Marketing. These teams not only need to align on processes, but they have to truly partner around all aspects of the customer’s experience with the brand. But, without the right tools to support this relationship, that partnership can be a real challenge.

Successful companies are seeing Sales using more messaging and tools from Marketing and Marketing developing more playbooks to guide the Sales process—partnering to engage buyers across all phases of the customer experience. Sales Engagement tools, like Marketo ToutApp, help to bring these two teams together. Through digital playbooks, proven content, and engagement analytics, Marketo ToutApp focuses your Marketing and Sales teams on driving more predictable pipeline and revenue growth. And recent enhancements to Marketo ToutApp in our Summer release make it easier than ever for marketers to categorize and share content, so Sales has the right messaging and content to close more deals.

Overcoming the challenges

As marketers face the challenges and hurdles of an ever-evolving landscape, technology is more important than ever to create authentic customer experiences. Today’s marketer has access to an expanding technology arsenal to turn data into insights, to personalize at scale for segments of one, and to focus the combined power of Sales and Marketing on the customer experience. Today, success depends not only on the tools but how they come together in a unified marketing platform. One that enables marketers to listen, learn, and engage at scale to create the types of personalized experiences consumers demand.

How do you see marketers winning with technology today?

The post 3 Key Challenges Marketers Face & How to Overcome Them appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/10/3-key-challenges-marketers-face-overcome.html

How Mobile Marketing + Email Pack a Punch for Marketers

It’s getting far too easy for consumers to ignore marketing messages that they’re not interested in. Even if they are interested, they often miss important communications simply because there is so much noise out there.

So, how can you combat the crowded marketplace and actually get the attention of your audience?

In this blog, I’ll cover how to use mobile marketing and email marketing to connect with customers in meaningful ways.

Mobile Marketing: Capturing Consumers’ Attention on the Go

Walk out of your house, and you’re bound to see someone engrossed in their phone. Whether they’re texting, playing a game, shopping, or browsing social media, consumers are spending five hours a day on their phones.

They’re more likely to immediately engage with an offer presented via mobile than any other channel simply because their phones have become an extension of themselves. A personal assistant. A means of connecting to the world, no matter where they are.

What this means for you, as a marketer, is the opportunity to create value where your audience is spending a significant amount of time.

Elements of Mobile Marketing

There are several ways you can reach your audience via mobile. We’ve seen that a combination of these different strategies can have phenomenal results.

Mobile Wallet

An exciting aspect of mobile right now is the use of the mobile wallet. Consumers can not only pay for purchases both in-store and online with their digitally saved credit cards, but they can also opt-in to promotions and offers from their favorite brands.

Once a subscriber sees your offer, they can save it in their mobile wallet. If they don’t redeem the offer, you can send notifications to remind them to, or even increase the savings to entice them. And once an offer is saved, you can update it indefinitely, providing you more opportunities to stay in front of your customer.

 Chipotle Example

SMS/MMS

The most fundamental mobile marketing campaign that has the highest delivery and reading rates are happening via text. You can send an offer via text with a link to redeem it or instructions to show the cashier the text to redeem in-store.

And you can take text message marketing one step beyond text-only content. Leveraging multimedia messaging, you can include videos and images to better engage subscribers.

Text messaging campaigns are also great to keep customers updated on the status of their orders, billing, alerts, and relationship-building campaigns.

Another benefit of SMS messaging is that for customers who don’t use a mobile wallet, you can send them the same offers. You can then link to a mobile-friendly website where they can access the same offer without needing to install a wallet app.

STYLE Example

Push Notifications

We’ve all been trained like Pavlov’s dog to respond instantly when we hear the ping of our phones. Those pings can turn into dollars if efficiently used. Push notifications can inform subscribers of new promotions or app features or remind them to redeem an offer.

Location-based push notifications are a fabulous way to connect with subscribers when they’re physically near your store, thus increasing the likelihood of them coming in to redeem an offer.

STYLE Example 2

How Brands are Using It

So now you understand the theory of mobile marketing as a successful channel but are brands actually making it work for them as well as getting the ROI they want and achieving business outcomes?

Absolutely.

Brands, big and small, are using mobile marketing to attract more customers, increase visits, grow average order sizes, gain repeat purchases, and boost mobile downloads. Here are a few brands that have successfully reached these goals:

  • PetSmart engaged its customers for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season with a fun pet-themed game. Players chose their favorite pet (dog or cat), then uncovered one of three offers. The results? The game was played over 750,000 times, attracting a 7x subscriber growth rate.
  • The Polo Factory Store wanted a way to maximize both in-store traffic and online sales, so they created a digital gift guide that saw 465,000 unique visitors. It acted as a data capture tool between marketing touch points and in-store purchases.
  • RedBox took its Days of Deals annual giveaway to mobile, adding in special offers to players. Some even included mobile wallet. Over 25 days, the campaign saw nearly 4 million entries and 2.7 million promo codes redeemed.
  • Providing valuable mobile experiences rather than only focusing on promotions is also an effective mobile marketing strategy. The Home Depot created a weekly interactive holiday calendar with educational videos, tips for gifts and instructions for DIY projects (and yes, special offers) to create a mixed-media animated approach to the holidays. The campaign saw a $3.6 revenue per click to the web and a 22% increase in mobile broadcasts to the overall experience, which drove significant ROI to the business.

These examples go to show that mobile marketing works and that there’s no one way to attract and engage mobile subscribers. Because mobile marketing is still a relatively new field, it’s exciting to see the creativity that comes with mobile campaigns.

Petsmart Example

Where Email Fits In

So, if you’re using mobile marketing, why do you also need email? The fact is: a multi-prong approach to reaching consumers will have a bigger and better impact. The more channels you can reach your audience with, the better brand recognition you will have.

The key to combining mobile and email marketing is to ensure that the offers are slightly different. Otherwise, what’s the value? The retailer who sends a 30% off promotion to both mobile and email at the same time is a turnoff, whereas the retailer who sends a 30% off promotion via email, and then a link to clearance items via mobile may see better engagement.

Make sure that your email is mobile friendly; 34% of email subscribers only read emails on mobile devices.

Olive Garden Example

One Platform: Multichannel Customer Engagement

Having two distinctly different channels for reaching customers sounds like a lot of work. Surely you’d have to log into two separate platforms to manage them both.

Actually, that’s not so.

You can manage both email and mobile marketing campaigns from a single engagement platform. A mobile engagement platform, like Vibes, can integrate with your marketing stack—specifically your engagement platform, providing ease of use and smarter dialogue between all types of campaigns. You can create robust customer files that allow you to see response rates to both email and mobile.

And while it can be helpful to have an experienced marketing partner to get your campaigns up and running, it is entirely possible to manage them and update them yourself, with little to no technical expertise required.

As it becomes more challenging to reach consumers, taking a multifaceted approach with both mobile and email can help brands deliver the best customer experience and improve engagement across all channels.

How have you integrated mobile and email marketing as a solution with your company? I’d love to hear about how you’ve incorporated the two in your marketing campaigns in the comments.

The post How Mobile Marketing + Email Pack a Punch for Marketers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/10/mobile-marketing-email-pack-punch-marketers.html

Advanced SEO Analytics Reports that Even Beginner SEOs Can Use

One of the most stressful moments in a marketer’s career is when traffic starts to slow or decline. You generated a lot of leads and revenue with creative emails, in-depth content, and shareable social posts, but new ideas are falling flat, and you’re suffering from a severe case of marketer’s block.

One source of new ideas that may come as a surprise is SEO website analytics. Reviewing web analytics reports can help marketers find new uses for underperforming content, discover new audiences to engage and educate, and identify gaps in coverage that need to be filled.

Even if you’re a Google Analytics beginner, it’s simple to navigate the system and populate advanced reports that will help fill a content calendar. In this blog, I’ll show you how to take a deep dive into your website analytics and use what you discover to find exciting new ways to stimulate success.

1. Gather Detailed Demographics Insights to Address the Right Audience(s)

Audience reports in Google Analytics provide an incredible amount of site visitor data: age, gender, location, browser type, device type, and even interests. This data can be used to build new buyer personas or refine existing personas.

In order to access this data, enable demographics and interest reports:

  1. Navigate to Google Analytics.
  2. Click the “Audience” tab.
  3. Expand “Demographics.”
  4. Click “Overview.”
  5. Review the information provided by Google in the main content area, and click “Enable” to turn on audience tracking.

enable analytics reports

With audience tracking enabled, many in-depth reports will become available:

  • Click “Age” to view the age groups the site is most popular with. Other data fields like bounce rate and average session duration highlight how well the site engages individuals in that age group.
    .
    age demographics.
  • Click “Gender” to see the overall percentage of visits from males and females, and view engagement metrics for visitors of the two different genders.
    .
    gender analytics report
    .
  • Expand “Interests” and click “Overview” to view interest information for site visitors. Affinity categories are lifestyle interests, in-market segments are purchase interests, and other categories are specific interests.
    .
    interests demographics report.

Where audience reports really get interesting, though, is with secondary metrics. Under either the age or gender report, add a secondary metric for any of the three interest categories.

  1. Click “Age.”
  2. Click “Secondary Dimension.”
  3. Expand “Users.”
  4. Select one of the following: “Affinity Category,” “In-Market Segment,” or “Other Category.”

analytics demograhpics

Pull a variety of reports for age and gender for each interest category to learn a lot about the people who visit your website most often. That information can be used to build or expand buyer personas.

Using the reports above, we know one target persona is a male of Millennial age who’s made or expressed interest in purchases related to business software, productivity software, employment, and dating.

2. Examine Visitor Behavior to Identify Landing Pages that Need Improvement

The Google Analytics Users Flow report allows marketers to view the most common site entry pages, where users navigate most often from those entry pages and the most common drop-off point. This provides helpful information that can be used to identify spots where funneling is ineffective, or landing pages are uninspiring.

Navigate to Google Analytics, click the “Audience” tab, and click “Users Flow.”

user flow analytics

This report displays a hierarchy of site entry pages, and the path users follow until they leave the site.

Find a page in the list that is designed to funnel visitors through the purchasing journey—it could be a home page, product landing page, or any other important content.

  1. Hover over the section that represents the selected page to view the percentage of visitors that continued on to view another page and the percentage that left the site from that page.
  2. Follow the gray lines to see what pages users are most likely to click through to from the entry page. Hover over subsequent page sections to see through-traffic and drop-off data.

Analyze the user flow report to look for places where drop-offs are higher than expected, or where users are navigating to unexpected pages.

Pages with high drop-off rates may need to have content updated to better match user intent, or CTAs updated to point to more relevant content given the user’s position in the buying journey.

3. Review Search Reports to Discover Topic Ideas and Gaps in Coverage

If you or your team is suffering from a severe case of writer’s block, reviewing site search analytics can provide a plethora of new content ideas.

In Google Analytics, click the “Behavior” tab, expand “Site Search,” and click “Search Terms.”

analytics user behavior

To identify content gaps, look for:

  • Search terms with high unique search values—What topics are users most commonly looking for using the site search function?
  • Search terms with high exit percentages—What terms are users unable to find content for?
  • Related search terms with high combined search values or exit rates—If multiple search terms are worded differently but obviously seeking the same subject matter, combine the search value and percentage exit numbers for those related terms.

Review site search reports generate ideas for new pieces of content to write and rest assured that the content will perform well because users are already looking for it.

4. Identify New Opportunities for Driving Visitors Deeper into the Purchasing Funnel

Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to keep visitors engaged and move them through the buying journey? In all likelihood, some pages drive high amounts of traffic but visits end after a single page view. To keep visitors engaged, identify important entry pages, and update those pages with content that entices visitors to stay a while.

The Google Analytics landing page report will provide a list of all site entry pages and the bounce rates and pages per session for each.

Navigate to Google Analytics, click the “Behavior” tab, expand “Site Content,” and click “Landing Pages.”

landing pages report

Look for pages with high traffic volumes that currently have no links to related content, newsletter signup forms, or links to downloadable gated content.

Adding one or more of those CTAs to the content of that page could significantly decrease bounce rates for that page and significantly increase the number of pages per session, newsletter signups, overall page views, and/or leads from gated content requests.

5. Analyze Content Reports to Find (and Improve) Failing Content

Some pieces of content receive thousands of social shares, rank high in Google search, and continue to drive traffic long after they’re published. Others get a couple of page views and a few shares before they’re completely forgotten.

But just because a piece of content failed the first time it was published doesn’t mean it has to be a failure forever. Content takes a lot of time, effort, and money to produce. When it fails, it should be revised and given another chance—not abandoned to become an outdated tax on site crawl rate.

If content rarely sees a set of eyeballs, unpublish it. Use the content somewhere else to do something different—create an infographic, webinar, or video. Use it as a chapter in an ebook. Transform the effort put into creating the content into something valuable.

Use the Google Analytics “Content Drilldown” report to find low-performing content. When the report loads, click the arrow in the “Pageviews” column to sort the content by least-to-most pageviews.

content drilldown report

Content with very few pageviews over the last year—particularly if the content also has low average time on page, high bounce rate, and high exit percentage values—probably needs to be reviewed and either revised or repurposed.

3 Tools That Provide Unique SEO Website Analysis Opportunities

While Google Analytics is an amazing website analytics platform—because it’s free and it has a lot of valuable features—it doesn’t do everything that marketers may need from an SEO website analytics platform.

These other analytics tools have capabilities that aren’t available in Google Analytics but provide more exciting, data-driven opportunities for marketers to explore:

  1. Crazy Egg—Crazy Egg provides heat maps and scroll maps that allow marketers to see what page components attract the most attention from site visitors, and what parts of the page are most commonly being skimmed or skipped.
  2. SEMrush—SEMrush allows marketers to spy on competitor advertising activities. View competitor PPC and display ad activities, how much they spend, what keywords perform best for them, and what designs and copy work well.
  3. SimilarWeb—SimilarWeb allows marketers to take analytical insights to the next step by seeing competitor analytics and comparing the effectiveness of each business’ marketing strategies.

Google Analytics also has a premium version of its platform—Analytics 360—that offers features not available on the free platform, but the additional features come with a hefty price tag.

SEO Website Analytics Aren’t Just for SEOs and Google Analytics Experts

At a glance, Google Analytics can seem incredibly daunting, confusing, and user-unfriendly, but it just takes a little getting used to. It’s worth it for marketers to spend time getting to know GA because the reports it provides can save the day when idea wells run dry and traffic numbers are bordering on stagnant.

A great introduction to SEO analytics for beginners is the Google Analytics Content Drilldown report. Use it to find failed content, transform it into high-impact content, and grow traffic, while also recovering the time and effort that was previously lost to a piece of content with no promise.

What beginner-friendly tips do you have when it comes to Google Analytics and SEO? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

5006-15163-Dreamforce 2017- Blog Banner

The post Advanced SEO Analytics Reports that Even Beginner SEOs Can Use appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/10/seo-website-analytics.html

Crafting Cart Abandonment Emails that Work

Nearly 3 out of 4 online shopping carts are abandoned. There are a myriad of reasons why customers abandon their carts, from sticker shock about shipping rates to lack of trust in your data privacy policies. Whatever the reasons are behind this astronomical number, the fact remains that marketers need to address this unavoidable issue. Cart abandonment emails are one of the leading cart recovery methods you can employ. According to Ometria, around 44.1% of all cart abandonment emails are opened, 11.6% of all cart abandonment emails are clicked and 29.9% of clicks lead to a recovered purchase back on site.

In this blog, I’ll show you 5 ways to make cart abandonment emails work for you and your business.

Relevant, Engaging Subject Lines

The first thing a customer sees in their inbox is who an email is from. The second thing is the subject line. A subject line can make or break you. In fact, 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone and it’s one of the easiest, most impactful elements of any email you can test.

Email Campaign Impact

Some simple tests you could perform to boost open rates with your subject line would be to test including action words like “exclusive,” “hurry,” “don’t miss out,” etc.

Personalization is another great way to grab attention and boost open rates. The most obvious way is to include the customer’s first name in the subject line. Campaigns with personalized subject lines generate higher opens rates than non-personalized campaigns.

Strong Headlines and Concise Copy

Your headline should grab attention and lead the recipient directly into the meat of your content, and ultimately, your call to action. Personalization can be used in the headline as well to draw the eyes and the copy should lean towards minimal to bring the reader to the CTA as soon as possible. Here’s a nice example from Ghurka:

Ghurka Example

In this email, Ghurka references the shopper by name in the headline, creates urgency in one paragraph of brand-appropriate copy, and uses a strong call to action. They even include what looks to be a personalized customer service angle to finish the email.

Remind Them What They Left Behind

One of the common reasons shoppers abandon their carts is simply human nature: they get distracted and leave the site. Remind your shoppers about what they left behind with as many specifics as you can from the data you collect in your marketing stack. Include an image of the product, a brief description, color options, size selections, patterns, pricing—again, any data point you feel can be brought in. If the items in the cart are top-selling items include cart expiration dates or in-stock/out-of-stock alerts.

In the Nordstrom example below, you’ll see an example of cart items being incorporated. They feature a fast-selling item at the top and the other items separately.

Nordstrom

Cross-Sell Where You Can

While I always recommend keeping cart abandonment emails as simple as possible, cross-selling related or popular items can drive additional revenue as well. Personalizing “Recommended Items” or items “You Might Also Like” can drive a 28% increase in average order values.

This email from Kate Spade brings in similar products to cross-sell:

Kate Spade

Don’t Forget About Mobile

Optimizing your templates for mobile is crucial to any email’s success. According to Statista, 34.5% of sales are completed on a mobile phone, with an expected rise over the next three years. Your cart abandonment emails need to not only look good on mobile but also enable your customers to complete the actions from the phone as well (so don’t forget your mobile website, either).

Tips for B2B

When talking about cart abandonment strategy, it’s natural to think of B2C ecommerce sites as the primary places where abandonment occurs. While this is true (certainly by percentages), B2B ecommerce and their requisite cart abandonment issues should not be overlooked.

The definition of an abandoned “cart” would change depending on the product or service being offered. If you’re selling products to businesses, cart abandonment content and strategy might mirror that of the B2C processes we’ve identified above. If your offering involves a subscription service or a free trial period, your process might be geared more towards activation of the trial or subscription.

The important thing to realize with B2B websites and an abandonment process is there are likely to be more reasons why people would visit the website beyond buying products. Some of these reasons include order status and tracking, product availability and contract pricing, invoicing and payment, etc. Given these potential variables, the smart decision would be to determine what counts as an abandoned cart in terms of customer behavior rather than employing a one-size-fits-all cart abandonment program.

Success Stories

Let’s recap what a good cart abandonment email will have:

  • A relevant, engaging subject line
  • A straightforward layout
  • A strong headline
  • Concise email copy
  • A reminder of what’s been left behind in the cart
  • A strong CTA (button, preferably) that links directly to the shopping cart
  • A sense of humor, attitude, or character (where brand-appropriate)

What this specifically means for your business can obviously vary in terms of exact execution.

Zachys Wine & Liquor

A third-generation family-owned wine merchant, mostly focused on offline retail, Zachys   Wine & Liquor started to shift to e-commerce in 2013. They started with a three-email cart abandonment series and were able to grow their e-commerce sales by 53% by reclaiming cart, browse, and search abandoners.

Zachys

Envelopes.com

This e-commerce site reduced its checkout abandonment by 40% with emails targeted at abandoners. The first email achieved an open rate of 38.01%, a click-through rate of 24.71% and a 40% conversion rate.

Envelopes.com

Boot Barn

This southwestern outfitter created a three-stage cart abandonment program that resulted in a 12% lift in captured revenue. The first email, seen below, was sent 20 minutes after abandonment and generated a 46.04% open rate.

Boot Barn

Now that you’re armed with information to craft cart abandonment emails that work for your brand and your customers. A lot of revenue is lost when shoppers abandon their carts. Start small with one email, utilize as much data as you can to bring in elements of the cart, and turn those abandoners into customers.

How have you incorporated cart abandonment emails into your marketing plan? Tell us about how you’ve done so in the comments.

 

The post Crafting Cart Abandonment Emails that Work appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/10/crafting-cart-abandonment-emails-work.html