The Everything You Need to Know Guide to Marketing

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1 The Everything You Need to Know Guide to Marketing

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3 Table of Contents Introduction Getting Started with Marketing How to Build a Successful List Part Art, Part Science: Writing the Perfect Maintaining Your Marketing List Measuring Marketing Efforts Increasing Conversion Rates with List Segmentation Taking Marketing to Infinity and Beyond Ready to Hit Send on Your Strategic Campaign?

4 Introduction Have you heard? marketing is more powerful than ever! Despite the constant changes with the devices we use and the ways we communicate, is a marketing tactic that s here to stay. DID YOU KNOW? has one of the highest ROIs in marketing, returning $44.25 for every $1 spent. (DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION) 89% of businesses say that marketing is the top marketing channel (MARKETING PROFS) The marketing industry is expected to grow to $12 billion by 2016, with more than 192 billion s sent every day by then. This is an annual growth rate of 10% (THE RADICATI GROUP, INC.) But, as with all successful marketing channels, you must figure out how to stand out from the crowd and rise above the noise. Now is the time to become a skilled marketer. You know this, and that s why you re here. This is The Everything You Need to Know Guide to Marketing. From identifying goals to building your list, maintaining it, measuring it and setting it up for the future, it s all right here. Let us walk you through the process of becoming a skilled marketer. It s easier than you think. 2

5 Getting Started with Marketing is a proven marketing channel. The complexity of is simplified by the functionality of the leading service providers, making it inexpensive to run and the ROI huge! You recognise that, and you re eager to achieve similar ROI for your business. What you want to know is: Where do I begin? How do I get started with marketing? How do I make it work for my business? If crafting an marketing strategy sounds too intimidating to touch, know you re not alone. But remember, works because it s personal and it s relevant. Let that guide you as you build a plan around four simple questions. YOUR AUDIENCE CONTENT TYPES FREQUENCY YOUR VOICE 3

6 Who Is Your Audience? You have visions of marketing success in your head. But whom do you envision reading your messages? If you don t have a current list, consider who you want to attract. How do you envision using marketing to grow your business? You re starting fresh that s a great position. If you do have a current subscriber list, who are these subscribers and how did they opt in? Are they past customers? Or are they new subscribers who provided an address in exchange for a downloadable resource or contest entry? If your subscribers match up with real customers, you can use your current prospect or list to get a clearer understanding of who your audience is. To get started, all you need are the names and physical addresses of your prospects. This will allow you to craft more targeted messaging. Customer Analysis Reports or Portrait Reports are designed to analyse hundreds of different variables and elements, giving you the demographics and psychographics of your target audience, while also appending new data. This provides a whole new understanding of the consumers you re trying to reach! 4

7 Below are some of the reports businesses have at their disposal: Look-A-like Report: A look-a-like report usually applies approximately 20 important demographic elements including age, gender, race, education, income, marital status, family size, presence of children, and home ownership. Segmentation Report: Often using a specific segmentation framework, this type of report will break your audience into identifiable segments, homing in on your best customers. Often marketers use this type of report to put names to a set of behaviours. Data Portrait Analysis: A data portrait analysis provides a detailed view to help you learn about the demographic and lifestyle elements that best contrast, define and describe your customers. Later, we ll show you how to use this information to generate more advanced customer segmentation. By identifying who your audience members are, you also identify their motivations for subscribing and the type of messages that will keep them engaged. What Content Types Will You Use? Once you ve identified your audience, how will you use marketing to engage them? Obviously, you ll want to send s about new offers and content that inspires past customers to return. But what else can you send? 5

8 Types of Content may include: Customer success stories Media mentions Event recaps New product information Product hacks (fun ways to use old products better) Content published on your blog How to articles Branded videos Industry trend insights Founder/employee profiles Deals, discounts, promotions! The opportunities for content types are endless, but don t pick just one! Keep your subscribers interested by rotating content types during your cycle. Maybe it s a video every month or a trend report every quarter. Give them something to look forward to and something fresh to read that is relevant to them. 6

9 How Often Will s Go Out? You know who and what, but how about when? There s no perfect frequency for marketing. If you have a highly relevant , then frequency is not always a factor because people want to read what you re sending. Instead, you ll want to test what works best for your audience and focus on providing value. You may find you can comfortably share a weekly Friday message to send subscribers into the weekend with hot deals. Or, you may opt to send a monthly that touches on industry news or presents your promotions for the next month. That s okay! As a general rule, aim to send something at least once per week to maintain top-of-mind awareness. Strive to be the always helpful, always informative friend in their inbox. Be the they can t wait to read. What Is Your Voice? Is your brand happy or serious? Are you conservative or do you live on the edge? Do customers find you warm and personable, or authoritative and reserved? Just like people, businesses have distinct voices and personalities. These elements help brands become recognisable and familiar to customers. Think of your favourite song. How many notes do you need before you can identify it? Not many, right? Close your eyes and imagine your nanna s apple pie. Can you smell it? This emotional DNA is essential to your brand and should be maintained through all customer touch points. You can t expect to write a quirky newsletter if your website is super corporate and straightlaced. You ll send mixed messages to your audience and fragment your brand persona in their mind. By understanding your audience, your messaging, your frequency and your voice, you ll begin building the framework for marketing success. 7

10 How to Build a Successful List Building your list takes time, strategy and dedication. Below are some tips to help you build a successful list from the ground up. Enable Your Website To Attract Subscribers For You Use Strategic, Obvious Sign-up Locations This makes sense, right? If gaining subscribers is a priority, the sign-up to do so should be in a prominent location, on prominent pages. Keep the Form Simple Remove roadblocks! Encourage subscriptions by making it easy for visitors to get on your list. When designing your sign-up form, only ask for information you absolutely need first name, last name and address. Additional information can be collected later. If you want to ask more questions, keep them brief with 3-5 questions that are contextual. If you re an automotive dealer, don t ask for shoe size but ask for a timeline on when they might make a purchase. Consumers will answer questions as they deem necessary for you to drive relevant content. So, if you ask it use it. Highlight Benefits Attract more subscribers by not only providing a prominent sign-up location, but by providing an enticing reason for them to sign up. Let them know they will receive special offers, they ll hear about news first or they ll have access to a special resource section on your site. Treating your visitors as VIPs is a smart strategy and provides reasons to not only subscribe but to remain a subscriber for the long term. Be Upfront Explain generally how often subscribers can expect s and what types of communications they ll receive. You don t need to state your frequency but give consumers an idea. Use Contests and Promotions Having periodic contests is a great way to increase your subscriber list. Remember customers who sign up for contests may not be as responsive as normal subscribers, as they may have joined under the lure of a free ipad and only supplied an address for the prize. Because of this difference, they may warrant a different strategy. 8

11 6 7 Consider Pop-ups Yes, pop-ups may be obtrusive. Yes, they may turn off some of your audience. However, pop-ups are also really effective and can provide that much-needed nudge to encourage someone to take action. Variations in size, location and triggering action of the pop-up can all be tested to find the best combination to generate results. Use a Welcome A welcome is like a face-to-face interview with your prospective new customer, and as with interviews, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Welcome s get high open rates, so make the most of the opportunity by presenting attractive offers. This initial communication in the relationship should confirm the subscription and say thank you! The from name and overall look and feel should reflect your brand and set up recognition for future s. Be sure to outline the benefits of being a subscriber, and inform and set expectations about the frequency, timing and content of your program. There is a lot your new prospect may not know about your site or your brand. Welcome s should be sent in real time, shortly after the customer signs up. 8 Make It Part of the Sales Cycle A prominent sign-up box is important, but it shouldn t be the only way in which you are collecting addresses from your audience. Ask customers to provide an address at checkout to opt into special deals and promotions, link to a form in your signature, offer freebies or use direct mail marketing to encourage new prospects to join your list. Leverage Off-Line List Building Opportunities If your business has retail or brick-and-mortar locations, use strategies to encourage shoppers to subscribe at the point-of-purchase. This may include a sales associate requesting an address to follow up with coupons and offers or contest entries. 9

12 Part Art, Part Science: Writing the Perfect On the one hand, messages must be brief. They re only a few sentences. Easy, right? On the other hand, messages must be brief. The right few sentences must compel someone to open them, read them and act on them. Not so easy, right? In fact, it takes practice, and strong copywriting skills. Craft the perfect marketing message by following these five steps: 1. Write to the Medium and Audience , more than other marketing channels, is intimate. When you send an to a subscriber, you re contacting them via a very personal place their inbox. You re mixed in with other important messages from friends, family members and colleagues. Respect that relationship. Respect your recipients by keeping their uniqueness and interests top of mind. Ask yourself: How did they opt in to your list? Are they subscribers only or have they made a purchase in the past? What are their interests? What motivates them? What are they likely to be doing when they receive your message? What would make them stop what they re doing to open your message? What pains are they experiencing, and how can you portray yourself as the solution? Use the Customer Analysis Reports, or Portrait Reports outlined earlier to gain a deeper understanding of your subscribers demographics, interests and behaviors. The more you can keep these elements top-of-mind in your messaging, the more effective your will be. 10

13 2. Write a Killer Subject Line We cannot overstate the importance of a finely crafted subject line. Your subject line determines whether your message is opened and read or immediately deleted and ignored. Because of that importance, spend an equal amount of time writing your subject line as the rest of your marketing message. Make it count. 64 % 33 % % % of people say they open an because of the subject line. (CHADWICK MARTIN BAILEY) 33% of recipients open based on subject line alone. (CONVINCEANDCONVERT.COM) Personalised subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. (ADESTRA JULY 2012 REPORT). The most effective subject lines are short and descriptive. They provide the reader with a reason to open the message and explore further. Find the balance between being engaging enough to stand out in someone s inbox and not being so overly cheesy you are ignored. 3. Write a Succinct Message The body of your should be as direct, succinct and compelling as the subject line you ve paired with it. Think of how you read s. You don t read them at all. You scan them looking for the benefit, the offer, the so what. Your audience behaves the same. 11

14 Craft s to be scannable, using bullets, icons, pictures, headings, subheadings, and additional formatting elements to allow a reader to get the gist of your message without focusing on every word. Be clever enough to grab attention but don t get stuck there. Too many attempts at humour, or too many puns, will cause your audience to lose interest or get confused. Catch their eye, but use simple, descriptive and direct language to convey your message. When writing, be conscious of the voice and personality being used. As discussed earlier, the voice and personality should reflect your brand. Will it be personal or formal? Will it be serious or playful? Will it sound like it s coming from a friend or will it read like an urgent message? The voice you choose will be deliberate based on the audience for the piece and the relationship they have with your brand. 4. Present the Call to Action It s not enough to simply present the offer compel the reader to act with a strong call to action. This is where you get readers to download that ebook, to subscribe to that newsletter or to click the button you want them to click. Tell readers what it is you want them to do whether it is to register, to call, to subscribe, to join, to visit whatever it is. If you don t tell them, they don t know what to do with the rest of the information you re providing. 5. Control Your Triggered and Transactional Messages A transactional message is one that may be thought of as system-generated, and, unfortunately, that is all too often the case. Take control of these communications back from IT! When a user takes a desired action on your site, such as making a purchase or downloading a white paper or case study, the they receive to confirm their action or deliver their materials should reflect the same voice and look and feel as your regular marketing communications. These behaviour-driven automated campaigns have the potential for huge ROI, so don t be afraid of utilising up to 20 percent of the for cross- or upsell content. 12

15 Anatomy of an From: Acxiom 1 To: Subject: Hate Telemarketers? Be a Marketer Who Segments 2 3 TIPS & TRICKS to Segmenting Your Marketing Campaign 4 Susan, do you ever wonder why telemarketers frustrate you so much? It s not just because they always call during dinner (which they do). It s because they re not actually talking to you. They re reading from a script, the same script they ve read off countless times before. And you can tell. 5 6 So don t do the same to your customers. Use customer segmentation to always send the right message to the right person at the right time. How can you make customer segmentation work for you? Keep reading! HELP ME REACH THE RIGHT PEOPLE! Acxiom Wharf 10 Suite 2 L1/52 Pirrama Rd., Pyrmont NSW ACXIOM unsubscribe privacy policy 8 1 From Name 3 Headline 5 Voice 7 Call to Action 2 Subject Line 4 Personalisation 6 Images 8 Social Integration 13

16 Maintaining Your Marketing List The success of your marketing program depends on a quality list. Without proper maintenance, your list will become stagnant and stale, resulting in fewer opens, lower click rates and less engagement from an unstimulated audience. You can t afford this. Maintain your marketing list by following five steps. 1. Process Change-of-Address Notifications You send an . It bounces back. You send it again. It comes back even harder. Welcome to life. People change jobs. They change names. Heck, they even change clients. Set up your system to receive these address-change notifications or give the consumer a place to change their information. When you receive them, process them by continually updating your database to keep it healthy and up to date. If you aren t continually updating your database with these changes, over time you will lose a significant percentage of your files. 2. Verify Addresses verification services can help ensure you re only sending s to address that are valid and still in use. This not only helps you maintain a positive reputation with service providers, but it also saves you money as you avoid paying for invalid or outdated addresses. How does it work? Simply upload your customer database with a third-party data provider and have them scrub it for you. They will flag old or outdated addresses. They can also help identify bad domain names, spam trap addresses, bad extensions or addresses that are not formatted correctly. To keep your reputation high, the application also flags addresses of people who often complain about the they receive, leaving it up to you to decide whether or not you d like to include them in your list. 14

17 What Is My Reputation? Good question! Your reputation, or delivery score, is a trust indicator used by service providers (like Gmail or Outlook) to determine whether your message lands safely in your prospect s inbox, or if it s filtered and identified as spam. Your reputation is influenced by many things, including complaints from recipients, the number of s you send per week, your bounce rate, the rate at which people unsubscribe, and more. Another vital element to consider in regards to reputation is engagement. You can be a reputable sender with a legitimate message, but if your audience consistently ignores or deletes your s without opening or clicking, you run the risk of landing in the bulk or spam folder. 15

18 3. Remove Inactive Addresses Do you obsessively check your analytics? Hit publish on an campaign and immediately check to see who opened it, who deleted it and where people are clicking? We do, too. There are many factors you can use to determine whether your audience is engaged. Look at the last time a recipient opened or clicked an . Or the last time they purchased a product or visited your site. Identify what an engaged subscriber looks like to you, and then determine a removal formula for subscribers who routinely don t meet that criteria. This could be subscribers who haven t opened or clicked in six months or have not purchased in over a year. Then, target those subscribers with a reactivation or re-engagement message. Having a smaller, more responsive list will allow you to better gauge the success of your ongoing promotions by eliminating non-responsive s. In addition, you will likely save money on your service provider fees. These costs may be minor but over time they add up. 4. Don t Permanently Delete Inactive Subscribers It s good to clean up your file and market only to those subscribers who are active and engaged. However, keep the removed addresses in a separate database. them occasionally with an offer that may reengage them. For those who respond, add them back into your active file. Consider slowly reintroducing previously inactive subscribers to your program. Create a stream of two or three messages targeted specifically at this group before returning them to your larger list and normal messaging cadence. 5. Never Stop Building Maintaining your list means you never stop building it. Develop an ongoing strategy to attract new subscribers, whether it s through regular contests, creating helpful resources or content assets, storytelling or killer offers and VIP experiences. 16

19 Measuring Marketing Efforts Establish Goals You re pretty far into this best practice guide. Can you remember how it began? What did we say was the first thing you had to know? It was your audience and what it is you want them to do with the marketing messages you send them. Do you want them to sign up for something? Do you want them to purchase more of Product X? Do you want them to share your newsletter and increase brand awareness? These things get down to the goal of your marketing. As with any marketing campaign, you want to set measurable goals for what it is you want to achieve. For example, if the goal of your marketing is to increase brand awareness, then you re going to want to measure things like new enquiries, increased brand sentiment and increased mentions of brand. These are signs your marketing is working and that awareness about your brand is growing. Your goals may differ for each program you execute. Newsletters may aim to increase brand awareness as measured by new enquiries while a content series may be measured by the number of case study or white paper downloads. Identify your goals for marketing to determine whether or not you are hitting them. Track Online Analytics There are many benefits to using marketing. We ve already discussed several of them it s cost-effective, it s easy to get started and the ROI is high. Another is that , like other digital marketing efforts, is super trackable. 17

20 Below are some of the specific metrics you want to look at. Open Rate: This tells you how many people opened your and can generally be attributed to brand recognition (the From name) or a well-crafted subject line. While somewhat of a faulty metric (an open can sometimes be triggered even if the recipient didn t open the for example, if it is opened in their inbox preview pane but not actually read), it is useful when benchmarking s are sent to the same list. Click-Through Rate: This tells you how many people clicked through to your website. This gives a good indication that people perceive your content as valuable and engaging. Conversion Rate: This tells you how many people received your and then took the action you laid out for them, whether that s making a purchase, downloading something or registering for an event. Measuring conversion rate depends on having web analytics installed on your web site, such as Omniture or Google Analytics. List Growth Rate: This tells you at what percentage your list is growing. Keep in mind that some churn (people unsubscribing or falling into an inactive status) is inevitable and expected. Maintaining a healthy list requires equal focus on both acquisition of new subscribers and engagement and retention of existing ones. Forwarding: This tells you the rate at which your subscribers share or forward the s you send them. This is important to note because it shows your subscribers are engaging with and enjoying the s they are receiving. It s also how you attract new subscribers, as friends, family members and colleagues of current subscribers refer them to you! Bounce Rate: This tells you the percentage of your s that could not be delivered to the recipients inbox. A hard bounce signifies the address is no longer active. A soft bounce indicates there may have been a temporary problem with the recipient s server perhaps it was full or down when you sent the . 18

21 Track Offline Sometimes your campaign may not be intended to drive subscribers toward an online action. Sometimes the will be about an exciting winter promotion or an in-store event. Or, perhaps a subscriber received your about your winter sales event but decided to go into your store to make a purchase. You want to be able to track these events as well. One way to do that is to offer promotional codes in your that are not available anywhere else. Then, if a subscriber visits your site via the campaign but converts later on a different device or in-store, you can still tie the purchase to the campaign when they enter, or give you, the unique code. Matchback Techniques? Another way to test the true effectiveness of driving offline sales is through a match-back report. This report allows you to tie new sales or orders with a promotion or timeframe and match them back to the original recipients of the marketing message. Once your sales can be tied back to specific promotions, you re able to see just how influential the campaign was. TRACK OFFLINE 19

22 Increasing Conversion Rates with List Segmentation Earlier we showed you how to use the Customer Analysis Reports, or Portrait Reports, to learn more about your audiences interests, hobbies and lifestyle. This information can also be used for advanced segmentation. List segmentation allows you to send the right message to the right consumer at the right time. It allows you to take a broad list and create segments based on a common characteristic. By segmenting your subscribers into different subcategories, you can create a more targeted experience for them. 20

23 How should you segment your marketing? PREFERENCES INTEREST GROUP PERSONA BEST CUSTOMERS GEOGRAPHY By Stated Preferences Part of your onboarding process should include directing subscribers to your preference centre. A preference centre gives the subscriber choice and control. Most subscribers are willing to share information about their interests and preferences, but you must provide meaningful options. Only collect information you actually intend to use and be transparent in how you will use the information gathered. Sending highly relevant campaigns based on a subscriber s explicitly stated preferences will increase engagement over the long term. 21

24 By Interest Group Segmenting your list by interest allows you to personalise your marketing efforts and add greater relevance. Portrait Reports analyse hundreds of different variables about your audience to aid segmentation. For example, Segmentation Reports can help you by breaking customers down into interest clusters like Career Building and Rolling Stones. Once you have a few clusters to work with, craft customised messaging that is directly relevant to their interests. That means sending warm-weather vacations to your customers who prefer the tropics, and ski packages to your customers who identify as ski enthusiasts. By segmenting your audience by clusters, you can use deliberate messaging and verbiage more likely to resonate and convert. Or, a Look-A-like Report will present you with a demographic portrait of your audience to help you understand who they are and what they look like, noting the markets where you are likely to be most successful. It can also break out approximately 20 demographic elements including age, gender, race, education, income, marital status, family size, children, and home ownership to help you understand your success in reaching these people. Once you ve identified the elements that make up your audience, utilise them to create better messaging. By Persona A persona is a detailed representation of a segment of your audience, which allows you to provide more relevant marketing by focusing in on their likes, desires and motivations. Personas can be built based on your own research of your subscribers, by using the Portrait Reports mentioned above or by taking advantage of propensity data. Propensity data gives you access to pre-built consumer behavior models to build personas around psychographic data. You will learn not only who that customer is but predict what they are likely to do. 22

25 For example, propensity data has the ability to identify customers who purchase Nike footwear and may be interested in products related to fitness monitoring or health. Or, customers who have a home loan and may be interested in refinance offers or services to improve the curb appeal of their house. Use this data to identify what your customers will be in the market for next or complementary products or services you may want to offer them. By Your Best Customers Your best customers are the customers you want more of. They re the customers who convert higher and at less cost than other customers in your database. Mine your customer database looking at factors like lifetime value, purchase value and social value to find the common characteristics that make up your best customer set. To learn more about how to identify your best customers and attract more like them, download Your Comprehensive Guide to New Leads & Better Customers. By Geography Segmenting your list by geographic region allows you to target your list by specific climate, lifestyle or even language factors. For example, an e-commerce store selling women s fashions may use geographic segmentation to market the right must have accessories to the right audience advertising winter coats and scarves to one batch of addresses, while marketing bathing suits and beach towels to another. Or, a sports retailer may use geographic segmentation to tease a Sydney Roosters vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs game to one list and a Sydney Swans vs. Hawthorn Hawks' game to another. 23

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