As a Marketer, I am sure this question of frequency of sending email must have come to your mind multiple times. Email marketing campaigns are believed to be helpful in generating visitors and leads significantly and marketers use different strategies to convert these leads into customers so that the sales figures can be improved and the motive of marketing can be fulfilled. Hence, marketers need to be very active in properly designing their strategies. One of the crucial points that need to be decided upon is the frequency of sending email. Prospects should not get frustrated receiving too many emails, while at the same time, they should not be allowed to forget about the brand with no emails going out to them for long periods of time..

The best way to decide upon the right frequency is to TEST out different frequencies.

You should send email quarterly, if you do not have much to say or lack the grounds of resources and time. It can engender the problem of having deliverability issues, as people might not remember you or your mails might be marked as spam or end up into the trash bin. Moreover, the email addresses might not be valid for long, causing high bounce or spam traps.

You should send it monthly, if you have a newsletter and have the aim to inform subscribers about latest happenings. If you are sending it with the goal of selling product or services, it might be too infrequent. Monthly is great for announcements and monthly calendar events of your company.

You should send it bi-monthly, if you want to hit the sweet spot for subscribers who are interested in your content, your service, your offers. It is the right balance between the weekly and monthly option. Sending updated content every other week could be helpful, but make sure that it is not repeatable, always provide fresh and new tips, offers, incentives and engage the reader. If you want the bi-weekly to work you MUST get into relationship with them, otherwise you will look like a nuisance and not of value and sadly end up in the do not disturb pile, trash bin, or spam.

You should send it weekly, if you are selling product or service. If you have to boost sale, you need to work upon it and let your subscribers know about the updated information. Along with it, also test out at different point to make sure that your subscribers are not frustrated. This is that exercise we’ve talked about in past. Keep it interesting, give them what they want and relevant, interesting news and offers is allowed and appreciated.

You should send it daily, if you have a daily candy for your subscribers. This frequency can work, if you have quality actionable, valuable and relevant content to be shared.
If you have some offer to announce, daily emails could be helpful to generate leads and in turn the sales. You need to track your metrics carefully. If you notice dropouts or unsubscribe, pull back a bit.

So, what’s best for you? Hopefully now you got some idea how to get the answer to that question! Test, test, and re-test your frequency, your message. Overall this timeline is a framework to begin with.
Metrics will unfold the entire story and then you can decide upon what works for you? Neither frustrate your prospects, nor let them forget you for staying inactive for long.

How to bring the best out of your marketing efforts? How to push more leads into your sales channels? How should marketers take better control over revenue process and achieve defined set of goals? There are numbers of questions that marketers ponder over to bring out solid strategy that can improve upon marketing ROI. Indeed, they need to present the picture in terms of metrics that make sense of chief marketing officers, who like to see growth in terms of revenue and profit.

Let’s ponder over a few of the top ten metrics that attract executive attention:

  1. Database size by segment: It cannot be denied that customer databases are the backbone to business growth. In order to manage such a huge database, it is good to divide it by segments. It simplifies sophisticated customer data, manages data well and drives in more ROI by building and targeting relevant campaigns.
  2. Form Abandonment Rate: It is the percentage of people who do not completely submit the form, after opening it. It helps marketers focus on understanding and facilitating the prospects’ buying process.
  3. Form Abandonment Rate (%) = [1 – (total number of forms successfully submitted on the website, divided by total number of clicks)]

  4. New Website Visitors: It is the measure of new visitors appearing on the site. This element should be integrated into marketing strategy, as it develops revenue growth and maximize ROI.
  5. Email Bounce Rate: It is a must to keep a check over email bounce rate, as higher the rate, higher the chance of getting the marketing campaign blacklisted. Analyzing it carefully, marketers can create lead generating email campaigns intelligently.
  6. Email Open Rate: It focuses on the number of engaging customers, thus providing insights to serve the customers better. Marketers can try out different experiments to know what attract customers.
  7. Email CTR: it helps you know new and unique visitors to the site. In order to have better CTR, email campaign should have compelling content, call to action, etc. marketers can use this metric to target email campaigns better.
  8. Click-Through Rate (CTR) = # of click-throughs / # of messages delivered.
    Adjusted Click-Through Rate = # of click-throughs / # of messages opened.

  9. Conversion Rate: It is the measure of number of visitors converting to customers. It helps marketers know about the percentage of revenue generated by marketing efforts.
  10. Conversion Rate = # of sales / # of visits

  11. ROI: It is the most common profitability ratio. It helps companies to know what works better. One can get a clear picture of how marketing initiatives are performing through such metrics.
  12. Customer Acquisition Cost: It includes expenses that are incurred to convince customers to buy products or services. Cost to acquire customers and lifetime value of a customer are two of the important variables that are taken into consideration.
  13. Program Performance: it is an important metrics that provides cost benefit analysis and process evaluations. It could be used intelligently to improve upon effectiveness and increase efficiency.

Do you want to present your marketing ROI before executives? Download our whitepaper “Top-10 Metrics to Attract Executive Attention and Prove Marketing ROI“.

Are you worried about attracting their attention? If such is the case, include the above stated top ten metrics that could clearly present the picture of marketing initiatives and highlight the growth prospective.

 

Getting the Most from your Thank-You Page

Most companies use thank you pages for prospects who have subscribed to their services, but most do not take full advantage of the potentials a thank you page can offer. Often thank you pages are an afterthought – I mean, they’ve already subscribed, so why do more, right? Wrong! You’ve captured their attention, but don’t leave it at that. Using a thank you page effectively can help keep your subscribers interested.

Below are a few tips for creating a good thank you page and a few don’ts when creating the page.

  • Don’t use the generic thank you page that came with your web program. Those who have signed up with you are expecting great things from your company.
    Do customize the web page to reflect the awesomeness of your business. Remember, this is the first thing customers see after they sign on with you. This is your chance to make a great impression.
  • Don’t leave them in the dark wondering what will happen next after they subscribe to your services or purchase your product. A lot of people are still unsure of the web and if you don’t tell them what will happen after they subscribe, they’ll be left wondering if the button they clicked or the form they filled out actually went somewhere.
    Do provide customers with a detailed report of what just happened, what will happen next (eg. An email will arrive shortly) and what actions they’ll need to take, if any (eg. Please confirm purchase or subscription in the email that will arrive) on the thank you page.
  • Don’t forget about them after the initial contact and the thank you page. If you use it effectively, your thank you page can help you move the customer through your marketing funnel.
    Do use the thank you page to provide Calls to Action for your customers. You can provide multiple calls to action on your thank you page, such as free trials, demos, contact details and social sharing.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Look upon your subscribers as free advertisement and get them working for you right after you thank them.
    Do provide links for customers to share your site and demos or trials with their friends on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The internet is a powerful tool and a lot of products and services are sold via word of mouth and endorsements on social media sites.
  • Don’t make your page as dull as it can be. Remember the first point – this is your chance to make a great impression and keep people coming back and sending referrals your way.
    Do use graphics, text, audio and video to spruce up your site and make it stand out from the rest. Video can be a great way to explain details of what benefits subscribers will get or to provide instructions for confirming subscription or tracking purchase orders.

You can see now that the thank you page is not something to be taken lightly. Some marketing automation programs provide the capability to keep collecting prospect data as they interact with the company over time. A thank you page with calls to action is also a great place to collect this information and keep people coming back to your site over and over again, pushing them through the marketing funnel.

What aspects are important to you on a thank you page? Would you add anything we haven’t covered? Do you have any great examples of thank you pages you’d like to share?

You’ve caught a prospect’s interest, they’ve spent time on your web page, attended free seminars or whatever, but how do you speed up the process of moving them through your marketing funnel? Now that you know they are a quality lead, you can invest some effort into accelerating them through your marketing process. Follow these 4 steps to get you on your way to increasing your revenue:

  1. Reconfigure the funnel: Typically marketers would dump a truckload of names into the top of a funnel without understanding the sales process or how customers moved through the funnel. Marketing and sales teams must align to figure out how to create quality leads instead of relying on quantities to get you sales. If you put quality leads into the funnel, you’re more apt to increase the quantity of sales closures – a reverse of the old methodologies that believed quantity would beget quantity.
  2. Analyze, analyze, analyze: The better you know your customer, the easier it will be to engage with them and build a relationship. The first step in accelerating existing leads through the funnel, then, is to gather as much data as possible. Only then can you move forward.
  3. Get Personal: Once you know your customer, you can send them information that’s relevant to them in a timely manner, engaging them appropriately and nurturing your lead, thus pushing them along in their decisions. Send qualified buyers emails offering specific training programs, or contact them with phone offers specifically targeted at them, for example, so you can build profitable customer relationships with them.
  4. Give incentives: If you create a referral program in which you offer existing customers a small gift for getting you a new lead and maybe a bigger one if you close a sale with a referred lead, for instance, the results will be two-fold. Not only will you create new leads, but you’ll also give your existing leads incentive to purchase your products or services. If they’ve purchased from you in the past, this is also a great opportunity in which to upsell to them.

At a recent summit, Marketo discovered that 90 per cent of revenue comes from existing customers (subscription business) and that upselling pulls in profits over time. These facts make it easy to believe in the lifecycle value of a customer. Focus just as much energy on your existing leads and getting them through the funnel faster and you’ll start to see the results.

What is your strategy for getting existing leads through the marketing funnel faster? Let’s get a discussion going.

Customer Scoring

Customer Score- Leverage your Marketing Automation Tool!

While lead scoring is a great process with which to rank all of your prospects, scoring your current customers may be of much more value in the long run. We’ve long thought of quantity verses quality, but it’s really quality leads that matter more. By assigning existing customers values, you’ll be able to come up with a profile for your ideal prospect based on what you already know your leads like. Then you’ll be able to send your sales teams in a more accurate direction when chasing down new leads.

We can easily score the online behavior of our prospects with forms, emails, clicks, etc., but how do we score the existing customer? This question creates a whole new scoring arena for marketing automation users. Let’s consider the following for some score methods:

  • Longevity and/or Loyalty Score: Who are our most valued customers? They are the ones who we’ve been doing business with for a long time, the ones who’ve remained loyal to us over time. You might consider then, giving these customers the highest score.
  • Level of Engagement Score: How engaged is your customer? You can glean a lot from your customers by scoring them on how effectively and frequently they use your products or services. Do they attend your events; do they visit your blogs, download white pages from your site? This area will also indicate to you which of your customers is benefitting from the entire product and which has room to grow.
  • Demographic Score: Who is buying your products? Knowing what the mean ages, mean salaries, and locations of your customers are, for example, can help you decide who your most likely client is.
  • Power Score: We can also assign a score to those who hold the most influence over other customers; those who are industry leaders, for example, and those who might open doors for us. Are some of your clients big brands that can lead you to other clientele arenas?
  • Referral Score: Who are the customers most likely to refer your products? Let’s assign them a score to keep track of who is sending you new business.

These are but a few ideas for scoring customers. Do you have anymore? We’d love to hear them.

If you paint a detailed picture of your existing customers, you’ll know with whom you want to be spending the most time. You’ve already gotten your sales and marketing teams speaking the same language with lead scoring, so take it one step further with customer scoring. You’ll also always have that information on hand at a glance to point you in the right direction when sending your sales teams after leads.

Do you practice customer scoring? What are some of the methodologies you would use? Share them with us and we can discuss.

Crafting the Perfect Email Subject Line

 

 

What entices you to open any email? More than anything else, the decision making factor is the subject line.  Many marketers keep it short- typically around 50 characters.  Why?  Because a subject line of an email should be compelling and concise enough to convince the recipient to open the email and take the necessary call to action.  That said, there is no magic formula, as an email subject takes both art and science to craft. You should be able to connect with your audience’s heart with a compelling subject on the one side, but it needs to have strategic intent and the right tone too!

Here are 4 rules to consider to get to that perfectly carved compelling email subject for your email campaign, and get a good open, click and deliverability rate too:

  1. Get to the Point: Relevance is key, so get to the point in the most creative way with fresh information. Remember, attention spans are short and your recipients’ time is valuable.
  2. Don’t Mislead for an Open: You want to add a spark to a headline so that it creates curiosity and leads the recipient to open the email. That said, you don’t want to mislead them just to get the email opened. Your subject should tie back to the content in the email. This will improve long term email results, since your goal is to build trust. So be honest, concise and precise while enticing them to open the email.
  3. Test, Test, Test: Perform A/B Testing for your subject line on a segment of your desired recipients. It will certainly give you great insights into what will work for you. Here are some of the types of tests I have done with Marketo customers to improve their subject lines:
    • Personalization: Using first name or company name
    • Proof:  Highlighting an expert or a peer of the recipient
    • Scarcity: Highlighting that the content is exclusive or limited
    • Relevance: Mentioning their city or a competitor
    • Brevity: Shorter email subjects versus longer
  4. Review and focus on the end goal: Look back at your emails or lead nurturing campaigns and see which subject lines got you the best conversions and click-throughs. Most of the time we tend to think, higher open rate is the best way to read the result on if an email subject is good (which is true), but also try to get more insight by ensuring those subject lines lead to results. Going one step deeper may help you identify the content that is working with your audience, allowing you to write more relevant emails going forward.

These tips, plus keeping subject lines short (think 50 characters or 4-6 words) will surely have an  impact on your email marketing success. Personally, I have seen lot of my customers achieve great results with these tips, and I would love to know if these help you (or if I’ve missed any that you can share). What are you testing in your emails?

rollercoaster

Most of us have come a long way and have witnessed how life was before Google, or even before Twitter and LinkedIn. It is difficult to imagine the world without them now!

Similarly, we have also seen how traditional marketing use works, and how we market today with the goal to get to Closed Loop Marketing to generate more revenue. In a nutshell, with a Closed Loop Marketing approach, marketers are responsible for more than branding and product updates, and need to watch customer reaction to marketing, to ensure their sales funnel doesn’t have any leaks.

With a no lead is left behind attitude going in, here are 5 ways to get started with Closed Loop Marketing:

  1. Data Management: Effective data management is critical for any Marketing Organization. Sales and Marketing need to collect data that is most important for their relative function. Effective data collection and maintenance is also essential to ensuring database integrity for customers and leads. Ensure you have a process in place to keep your data clean and standardized.
  2. Lead Scoring: Have a good lead scoring program in place. Lead scoring is a process of determining the sales readiness of leads using predetermined scoring methodology and ranking them accordingly. Remember, it is an iterative process in that once you have lead scoring defined and working, make sure you revisit and enhance it based on information you’ve collected over time.
  3. Lead Nurturing: As a general lead nurturing rule, there should be no place in the buying process where leads just “sit,” and you should have only one lead stage value for leads being nurtured. All other lead status values should have a time limit, and leads that sit idle past the deadline should be automatically recycled for further nurturing. In sum, lead nurturing ensures movement and interaction with prospects, even if they are not ready to buy or sales does not engage.
  4. Sales and Marketing Alignment: Marketers today need to share pipeline information with the Sales Team, and in return Sales should share the information back with Marketing. This is all so they can get insight into which marketing campaigns are having impact. Communication is the key which brings true sales and marketing alignment.
  5. Reporting for ROI: Today’s CEO demands accountability, and if you have to justify 1000’s of dollars for a trade show, then you need to present more than just the number of people who visited your booth. The CxO would love to know how many opportunities were created, and ultimately, how much revenue did we close as a result. Reporting should be able to measure the effectiveness and ROI of marketing investment.

    Ready for diving into Closed Loop Marketing? Check out my quick presentation on the subject!