50 Tips to Maximize Marketing Success

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1 50 Tips to Maximize Marketing Success INTRODUCTION Permission-based marketing has a higher return on investment than unsolicited , direct mail or traditional advertising and therefore, has revolutionized the way we do business. Backed by measurable results, studies show that marketing is the marketing tool of choice for businesses looking to attract, retain and grow loyal customer bases. Businesses all around the world use marketing to: boost sales generate leads strengthen relationships increase Website traffic build brand As the popularity of permission-based marketing grows, so does the volume of in every consumer inbox. Are you doing everything you can to make sure that your s are the ones that get opened, read and responded to? You know your business best, but here are 50 tips to maximize permission-based marketing success. 1

2 STATS AND FACTS UNVEILED marketing is on the rise. As a fast, easy and affordable way to communicate, nothing else compares. 1 Today, emarketer estimates there are 97 million active users in the US over the age of 14. This number is expected to grow to 140 million by has established itself as a normal part of daily life. A survey from NFO Interactive finds that 74 percent of users say it s 'vital' to business. 3 According to the American Management Association, has overtaken the telephone as the preferred method of communication among North Americans. 4 emarketer reports that in 2000, twice as many s were sent than traditional pieces of mail. 5 In marketing was a $900 million industry with 400 billion s sent. By 2003, emarketer estimates this will climb to $4.6 billion totaling 1.6 trillion s. 6 Jupiter Communications estimates that while paper-based campaigns receive only 1 percent to 2 percent response rate on average; campaigns can receive a response rate of 5 percent to 15 percent. 7 While traditional direct mail typically costs between $1 and $2 per piece, campaigns can cost as little as pennies per piece. (N.B. not every company drops prices with volume increase) 8 Forrester Research predicts that marketers in the US will have tripled their marketing budgets by Forrester Research found that campaigns sent using customer house lists achieve a 10 percent click-through rate 2 percent of these click-throughs result in a purchase. 10 A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that more people go online for than to do research. Seventy-five percent of executives say that will be their primary source of business information by gets results fast. You should expect to get 90 percent of your marketing results with 48 hours. 2

3 KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE You could have the best message in the world, but without the right audience it means nothing. 12 Start with a permission-based list build your own or rent them from reputable list brokers. 13 In exchange for contact information, offer your customers something of value a newsletter, a free seminar, or more information about your products & services. 14 When gathering contact information, only gather the demographic information you really need asking for unnecessary information annoys people and may discourage them from signing up. 15 Be sure to always include a way for people to unsubscribe in all your campaigns. Unsolicited or spam can be damaging to the reputation of your business. 16 Manage your contact lists so you can respond quickly and efficiently to requests for more information or requests to unsubscribe. 17 Since addresses can change frequently, maintain the integrity of your list by carefully tracking the number of bounce-backs or undeliverable s after every campaign. 18 Be sure you have a clear and concise privacy policy that details how you will treat your customers personal contact information and include a link to your privacy policy in every you send out. 19 Respect the terms of your privacy policy and never breach your customers trust. 3

4 CRAFT YOUR MESSAGE An interesting message that offers value to the reader is critical to the success of any campaign. 20 See what others are doing. Take a few minutes and sign up for newsletters from competitors choose a few on your favorite hobby or interest too. 21 Once you re receiving online newsletters from other companies, pay attention to what makes you open some and what makes you delete others without reading. 22 Before you craft the right message, develop a marketing strategy that addresses goals and objectives. 23 Use marketing to accomplish what does best increase revenue, generate leads, strengthen customer relationships, increase Website traffic and build brand awareness. 24 Get the length right. A good rule of thumb is the more frequently you send campaigns, the shorter they should be. People will happily open a short "Tip of the Day", but almost no one wants to get something longer than that every single day. 25 Keep the message personal and casual. Think like a customer and write in a conversational tone people crave a little humanity behind the corporate mask. 26 People respond best to messages that are written by one particular individual at a company who they can get to know over time it s part of building relationships. 27 Personalize the From part of your and be clear who the is from. 28 Avoid using FREE in your subject line since it has been abused by spam marketers and arouses suspicion. 29 Be honest in your subject line and reflect what s inside. State a clear benefit that motivates the recipient to open the message. The messages that get opened will be those that seem relevant and offer value. 30 Choose a subject line that captures immediate interest and makes people want to read more. For example, avoid vague subject lines like "Our September Newsletter." Instead, say something that engages your readers attention with an interesting topic or headline from the newsletter, such as "Best Practices for Marketing" or "Inside: Exclusive Interview with Tiger Woods!" 31 Use your subject line to encourage forwarding. The Association for Interactive Marketing (AIM) always adds "Pls. Forward" to the ends of their newsletter subject lines and they report it's more than doubled their circulation! 32 Personalize each message and watch response rates climb. At the very minimum, always include the recipient s name. 33 Customize your messages to appeal to customer interests and hobbies. Ask your customers what they want to hear about from you news about product improvements, special offers, new services, etc. 4

5 CHOOSE THE RIGHT FORMAT Once you ve got a compelling message, you need to present it to your customers in the most effective way possible. 34 HTML and Rich media messages that include audio, video and animation generate high response rates, however it s still important to always have a plain text version for those recipients that prefer text or can only receive text. 35 Unless your newsletter is unusually long, recipients will probably try to read it on their screens. Your job is to make this as easy as possible for them. 36 Always include a table of contents up-front so people can scroll quickly and easily to the section of their choice. 37 Usability studies show that most people won't look beyond the first screen of information if there's not something immediately interesting to them. Give them a reason to scroll down! 38 Use bullet points and lots of white space for plain text messages. 39 Minimize the use of ALL CAPS and italics as they are much harder to read on screen. 40 To make it easy for readers to scan your message, keep columns of copy narrow. 41 Test your messages through a number of accounts to ensure they look good through all mainstream clients. 42 Consider writing your message in the same format that it will appear in on your customers screens so that you can preview exactly what they will see. For text-based s this means setting your word processor to a 10 point Courier type going 60 characters (five inches) across. 5

6 LOOK FOR MEASURABLE RESULTS The ability to measure your marketing efforts is powerful. It allows you to thoroughly understand what works and what doesn t so that you can maximize the effectiveness of each and every campaign. 43 Gathering results through trackable links and having access to real-time reports will help you understand what works and what doesn t. 44 Test using different subject lines, copy, offers, creative designs and more. Use real-time results to see which get the best response rates. 45 When running a series of campaigns, refine your message as quickly as possible once you understand the results of your first campaign. 46 To fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of an campaign, look for an marketing solution that offers real-time reporting features that address more than just who opened your message. 47 To save valuable time, choose marketing software that automatically manages and tracks results so that you don t have to manually sort and calculate through hundreds or thousands of responses. 48 If you need fast results, choose marketing software that gets your message out quickly some can launch in as quickly as one hour! 49 Research by Jupiter Communications report response rates to average between 5 percent and 15 percent. This compares to banner advertising that averages below 1 percent and paper-based direct marketing at 1 percent to 2 percent. 50 Above all, take the time to understand as a marketing medium. Always analyze your results and think about innovative strategies to get new customers and keep existing customers. 6

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