Marketing Best Practices

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1 Marketing Best Practices

2 Marketing Best Practices Introduction marketing is still relatively new to most businesses as a marketing and lead generation activity, however; it offers a lengthy list of benefits to an organization to look at such a marketing medium moving forward. Some benefits it can provide are: Faster response rates than traditional direct mail No printing costs associated with marketing Due to the technical nature, metrics are generally easier to collect, calculate and report on No Postage costs Development costs are generally less compared to direct mail pieces Cost effective compared to many other marketing activities With these advantages, an organization can maximize marketing dollars to start generating a more comprehensive marketing campaign and lead generation strategy. This is not, however, a type of marketing to just dive into and start performing on your own. There should be some best practices and advice followed to ensure maximum ROI and success in contact rates and ultimately opportunities and sales generated.

3 Best Practices for Marketing Hire an Marketing Company to Deliver Your Campaign Many people feel they can deliver the campaign internally. They have servers and the bandwidth available and maybe already have a prospect list in place. The only issue with this is that it is very easy to have your s be labeled as spam which in turn results in your domain being blacklisted! There are companies out there that provide this service and only this service and therefore are highly specialized in ensuring optimum results all the while protecting your image. If you choose to perform this yourself, it s suggested you push out your s in small batches and ensure you have a solid prospect list in place with an opt-in for s to avoid being spammed out! Prospect Lists - Ensure your prospect list is well vetted and has some consistency to it (remove those that are not relevant spend some time researching the full list for accuracy). - If possible, segment into specific verticals/industries or more targeted groups as this will allow you to tailor messaging to your prospect base and be more relevant early on. - Generally you should only utilize opt-in lists. Be wary of pre-purchased lists although legal in most cases, the subscriber may not agree when they receive your unsolicited . - Be aware of purchased lists and when they were developed and how the contact details were generated some use underhanded tactics to gather prospect information. Try to purchase or develop your own optin lists for campaigns. - How to develop an opt-in list: Hold webinars, offer case studies, newsletters, whitepapers or have free offerings that prospects can sign up for or request further info on. Those who accept will now be on your opt-in list. Ensure your Subject Line is Effective - This is the first point of contact with your potential client. They will first see your subject line in their inbox and therefore it must be engaging and attract them to click into your . Some areas to consider are: o Don t create a very lengthy subject line people don t want to read a novel to figure out what you are trying to send them. o Some studies have shown that punctuation increases your chances of being moved to junk mail or spam. o Test your subject line first run test scenarios with friends/family and existing customers and see how your reacts in their spam filters and junk mail filters. Testing will result in higher acceptance rates. o Ensure it s easily identifiable that it s coming from your organization or what you are providing. Being too cryptic will cause receivers to avoid opening the .

4 a) Try to avoid key spam words (ie. words that trigger the spam filters) you can find these by simply performing a search on the internet. Some examples would be: Free b) Clearance c) Cash d) Bonus e) Deal Generate Interactive & Compelling Copy - Ensure your copy/body of your is compelling and draws the customer quickly to your offering. - Remember they are looking for the benefit to themselves you need to get to this point quickly. - Provide click through options or the ability to hit landing pages early on and frequently throughout your . - Try to make interactive if the subject matter allows within your copy this will aid in keeping attention throughout your message but keep it professional. - Have the copy follow a process of ascending points and value propositions to work towards bringing a reader through all your copy to the end of your . - Some studies have shown that highlighting text or bolding areas is rather annoying to readers versus a benefit, and it may increase spam rates formatting is important. - If you make a promise or guarantee ensure you deliver on it no matter what there is no quicker way to lose credibility than to make an offer and not follow through. Develop A Well Defined Call to Action - Ensure all your click through options lead to a well defined call to action either on a landing page or within your own website. - If possible build in the call to action within the i.e. sign up form for a Webinar right in your or Buy Now button. - Make your call to action easy and efficient no one wants to spend a lot of time filling out large forms or line item after line item of requested information name, number, company, is usually sufficient. - After they have clicked through on a call to action and the requested info has been submitted, redirect them to your website or further information. From this point on the prospect has the option to continue reading further information or move on to another desired location. - Don t hide the call to action - make it very clear and in easy to find. If linking to another landing page have hyperlinks available throughout your copy that will get them to the same spot. As soon as interest is peaked in a prospect they should have an easy option to link to the final deliverable. - The most critical point here is YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO FOLLOW UP WITH THE CUSTOMER, it s not their job to call you! Some will contact you first but don t wait around for the phone to ring. Whether they clicked through or not, you need to follow up with all prospects.

5 Metrics & Tracking - It is critical to start your metrics program and tracking before you even send your first . - Ensure your prospect list is recorded in a CRM/Database or somewhere with easy access this will also aid in possible duplicates or existing customers on your list who are not relevant to your campaign. - Record when all s are sent with a follow up deadline if needed create a ticket in your CRM or ticketing system to ensure you Do the follow up. - Don t wait too long for follow up calls or contact you want to try and hit while the iron is hot and your message is still relevant to the prospect. - Track your ROI what was your cost on the campaign vs. opportunities generated or sales closed and when do you want to see results by? Be realistic! - Once a prospect turns into a lead track that information separately as they are now in your pipeline and no longer in your lead generation campaign. - Keep records of all feedback from prospects you may have to slightly alter your messaging based on the feedback and results. This is not uncommon as marketing is somewhat trial and error. - If someone requests to be removed from your list DO IT IMMEDIATELY do not continue to push out marketing to them, you will lose credibility and upset your prospect base. - In many cases the marketing company you utilize will provide these metrics or some metrics for you depending on the type of service/contract you engage in.

6 What to look for in an marketing company Research your potential Marketing Organizations. You want to look for organizations that have solid systems in place for campaigns and a solid track record. Don t be afraid to ask for referrals or testimonials to see what other previous/existing customers are saying. This is your name and your organization being put out in the marketplace, be sure it s performed in a professional manner. Avoid organizations that offer underhanded tactics or options to blanket thousands of subscribers without you getting caught. Generally these organizations are spam engines and not marketing firms. Decided what your needs are? Do you require help with design and development? What do you want to send out, is it an , newsletter, or some other type of marketing piece? Some firms will offer various services and some will be very specific to only provide delivery without design options or vice versa. Evaluate what you want to spend. marketing is very cost effective but can quickly add up if you provide prospect lists with thousands and thousands of names. Look for rates that are in line with your marketing budget and organizations that ensure these are controlled to your expectations. Check if your marketing company will handle unsubscribe requests. If so, ensure this is adhered to. If not, you may receive lists of those that wish to unsubscribe and you will therefore have to manage and alter your prospect lists as necessary. Metrics and Tracking are critical. The marketing company will need to provide you the majority of the metrics as they are running your campaign through their system, but direct hits to your webpage or landing sites may need to be tracked by you. The more the metrics the better! This may slightly increase your costs but it will be worth it to truly understand how successful your campaign is. Test your message as previously discussed. Some companies will test before the campaign starts, however, not all offer this service or offer it at a further charge. If it is not offered ensure you do your own testing before the final campaign is rolled out. As well ensure the marketing company is aware of any local or national laws that may affect your messaging or regulations surrounding campaigns.

7 Conclusion Ensure you have a well developed plan for your marketing campaign. Even though this is a quick, efficient and cost effective means to marketing, there still needs to be the due diligence performed on the front end to work towards greater success. Spend the time understanding who you want to market to? What is relevant to them? What message would resonate with them or aid in having them click through your campaign? Once you have put a solid foundation in place it will expedite the process of development of the final to be sent and assist an marketing company in working with you to ensure proper distribution and metrics.

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