Archive for the ‘Mobile Marketing’ Category
Though email is one of the oldest tools in the digital marketing toolbox, it remains one of the most popular and productive. As reported here previously:
- • There are nine times as many marketing emails sent each year as direct mail pieces delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
- • Email marketing delivers the highest ROI (about $44 per dollar spent, on average) of any digital marketing tactic.
- • Nearly two-thirds of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an e-mail marketing message.
With familiarity however comes the danger of fatigue. So, marketers must continually to teach the old email dog new digital marketing tricks.
What are the best tactics today for cutting through inbox clutter? Persuading prospective buyers to opt-in to yet another email list? Designing attention-grabbing emails with compelling content? Optimizing content across devices? Avoiding common mistakes?
Find the answers to those questions and others here in more than a dozen of the best email marketing tips and guides of the past year.
General Email Marketing Tips and Guides
How Much Do You Know About Gmail? [Infographic] by The Wonder of Tech
Carolyn Nicander Mohr presents an infographic full of interesting stats and facts about Gmail, the world’s largest email provider with 425 million users. Among the trivia: Gmail includes an “undo send” feature many people are unaware of; you can do video hangouts with up to nine people from your inbox; and messages are always encrypted.
Quick Winds for Email Marketers in 2015 by MediaPost
Chad White serves up nine (mostly) low-effort tips to drive short-term improvements in email marketing results, such as providing an “opt down” option to receive fewer emails rather than unsubscribing completely, using HTML text rather than text inside images, and testing use of special characters in subject lines (“Special characters are the images of subject lines. If you haven’t A/B tested them yet, give it a try”).
The 10 most innovative emails of 2014 by iMedia Connection
Christopher Marriott presents the 10 most innovative marketing emails of last year as judged by The Relevancy Group. Check out the winners (and why each was picked as the best) across categories including best abandoned cart email (FTD), best coupon email (Macy’s), best “welcome” email (AllRecipes.com), Best newsletter (Olympus Cameras) and more.
William Steward details four key steps to creating compelling email newsletter content, from focusing on education (“Try to inform your readers. What’s happening in the industry that they might be interested in? What blog posts have you written in the last month that they might find helpful? Have you released a new whitepaper, or research report?”) to avoiding too much imagery.
The Ultimate List of E-mail Marketing Tips by Digital Growth
Luke Chapman shares thoughts and content from a panel discussion on email marketing, covering topics such as why email remains a powerful marketing tool (“If your e-mails are well thought out and you can get the customer to open them, you have just opened a 1-on-1 conversation with them and don’t have to compete with other noise. The ROI of e-mail marketing is phenomenal if you do it right”), how to track the ROI, mistakes to avoid, and list building tactics.
Email Marketing Toolbox: 60+ Resources for Email Marketers by ProfitBlitz
Marc Andre showcases a huge collection of helpful tools and resources for email marketers, from email marketing services to plugins to CRM tools, pop-up creators, alternatives to pop-ups (for those who acknowledge how obnoxious those can be), landing page design tools, contest tools, web conferencing services and more.
Email List-Building Tips and Guides
50 Proven Ways To Grow Your Email List by NewsCred
Observing that “You may have already noticed that your website visitors aren’t automatically going to sign up for your list just because you have an opt-in box in your sidebar…Opt-in incentives need to be more enticing and more valuable, and this value needs to be clear. Your opt-in links and sign-up boxes need to be obvious, without being pushy or distracting,” Jayson DeMers lists 50 proven tactics for increasing opt-in signups, from adding a lightbox form or valuable incentive to being relatable (“Let potential subscribers know you’re a real person”) and giving potential subsciners a sneak-peak of what they’ll be receiving.
60 Experts Reveal Top 3 Tools To Grow Your Email List by Robbie Richards
Robbie Richards compiles expert tips on list-building tools from an impressive spectrum of digital marketing pros, including Adam Connell, Joe Pulizzi, Ann Smarty, Jeff Bullas, Kristi Hines, and Gini Dietrich (whose favorite tools are “1) Blog; 2) Twitter; and 3) Landing pages with rich content behind them”), among others.
OptinMonster Review: Growing Your Email Subscribers by Razor Social
Ian Cleary provides an in-depth review of OptinMonster, a WordPress plugin for building email subscriber lists. He explains how OptinMonster gets a reader’s attention while on your blog or website, how to set up the tool, create a design, and output settings (“You now specify some settings related to where the opt-in box will appear. Does it show up for the whole site, or for specific categories and/or specific pages on your site?”).
Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
6 sins that email marketers commit every day by iMedia Connection
Mark Brown entertainingly outlines half a dozen bad practices in email marketing to avoid, for example: “Always use alternative functions. That kid who always makes the team but never gets to play is kind of like the alt text function. It’s a brilliant function and absolutely necessary, but is never really used — until it’s too late. Alt text is displayed when an image in your email fails to display for whatever reason. It is the only thing that stops your readers being presented with a screen full of the grey you associate with terribly mixed drinks and cheap cocktail bars.”
Greg Digneo warns email marketers away from common mistakes, such as not having clear goals (“Ideally, your goal should be specific and measurable. So saying “get more sales” is probably not a great goal to have. However “Generate 100 leads and close 10 sales a month” is one that you can measure”), giving readers too many choices, and not optimizing for mobile devices.
Mobile Email Marketing Tips and Guides
How Mobile Readers Interact With Marketing Emails by MarketingProfs
Ayaz Nanji shares some interesting findings on how mobile users interact with emails. For example, mobile users are notably less likely to click on links within emails–but that’s necessarily bad, as many mobile users open emails on their phones and then return to the message later from their desktops. And “mobile readers who opened emails a second time from their computers were 65% more likely to click through, indicating that optimizing for both mobile email opens and later desktop interactions can have a significant payoff.”
Echoing some of the findings reported above, this article highlights takeaways from research across nearly six million email marketing campaigns. Among the findings: “Improve the content: First open results in fewer clicks on mobile. Readers are less likely to click through on the initial open from mobile devices than they are from their desktops. The standard for compelling content is higher than ever.”
Reporting that 49% of emails are now opened on mobile devices, Selena Blue provides four value tips for mobile experience optimization, starting with making use of pre-header text: “Many inboxes are formatted so that users can see not only the subject line, but also a line of additional text in the email. This text is pulled from the first bit of text at the top of your email. However…the default text for most templates is not very valuable messaging.” Instead, make your pre-header text “tie into the subject line, bringing [readers] in and encouraging the click.”
Guest post by Luke Rees.
Every marketing executive wants to know when their efforts are getting through to consumers, and the online world is certainly making it easier to do so. Whilst there is still no way to track impressions from offline marketing (human interface programmes just aren’t that advanced yet…), the online world makes it possible to track real time results via impressions and clicks.
But although online is great for understanding your customer base, it may not be the best platform for converting leads into customers. In fact, a recent study found that two thirds of people get frustrated when they can only interact with a company online.
65% of businesses still consider the phone their strongest lead source, so how can marketers track when their online efforts are generating phone calls?
Here are five techniques marketers can use to better understand their customers; to streamline their experience with the contact centre; and to ultimately improve ROI.
Click-to-call tracking allows advertisers to identify and measure calls to their business after an ad click through occurs. Google recently announced they are offering this service free for their AdWords users.
How it works:
- a code is placed on the company’s website or mobile site;
- this code generates a unique forwarding number for each AdWords click;
- when a customer calls from a unique number you can link it back to a specific page on your website, as well as publisher sites within the display network, to see the types of calls that are being generated;
- with the help of Google Universal Analytics it is possible to track the keywords (i.e. search phrases) the customer used before clicking on your webpage. Your call centre staff are therefore already clued-in about the specific needs of the customer.
Data from this new free feature allows marketers to understand which keywords and ads are driving the most phone calls from your website, as well as where the most valuable calls are coming from.
Google’s call conversion tool allows marketers to optimise each page of their website by seeing the amount of engagement it’s getting, but there are also more sophisticated methods available for tracking where customers are coming from.
Here are two more techniques for tracking customer acquisition:
- IP and ISP (Subscriber Trunk Dialing) tracking software allows agents to see the exact geographical location where calls are coming in from;
- integrating call tracking with bid management software can allow marketers to see the keywords that lead to the most offline telephone conversions. Having this data means they can fine tune their PPC and SEO campaigns.
Companies who understand the needs of their clients and know how to target them are likely to significantly reduce their cost per lead. For one company who had their data reviewed this was as much as 50% reduction.
Conversion to call
Call tracking companies like ResponseTap provide software which allows marketers to track the entire customer journey, not just the initial call.
With the help of web analytics programmes it is possible to see:
- which keywords the customer used before calling;
- the publisher which drove the visitor to the website;
- the webpages they looked at before, during and after each call.
Integrating call tracking with analytics software like Google Adwords tracking, Adobe SiteCatalyst, or DC Storm can further improve customer understanding and increase the conversion to the right kind of call.
One company wanted to reduce information only calls to make capacity for Sales calls. By reorganising content for existing members and non-members differently they were able to increase the conversion to the right kind of call by 66%.
Conversion to sale
Wouldn’t it be great if your call centre staff new exactly the needs of the customer before they’ve even picked up the phone? These three strategies do just that, which significantly increases your chance of making a sale:
- Call screening alerts the agent about the campaign that has motivated their call. A phrase is read out to the agent before or after a call, telling them information like how the caller found your website, and what keyword they typed in;
- Dynamic call routing allows companies to route a call depending on to how a visitor have found their website. The call can then be directed to the best team, department or person within the business;
- SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) can be integrated into your call centre tactics. SIP is a signalling protocol that makes it possible to implement services like voice-enriched e-commerce, web page click-to-dial, or Instant Messaging depending on the preferences of the individual customer.
Using smarter and more sophisticated routing to get the calls to the right people will result in increased ROI. One of the businesses who had their data reviewed saw an uplift in sales of 15%.
Higher order value
Increasing the average order value (AOV) at the end of the customer journey is the final part of the customer journey which marketers can optimise through clever call tracking.
Two way to ensure customers spend bigger are:
- URL callbacks allow you to send data about the caller to an online system at the start or end of the call in real time. By storing this data in a database, you can integrate with other online solutions like web analytics or CRM solutions to better understand the customer experience and needs.
- CRM Integration: instead of using your CRM to just be a system that retains customer information based on manual entries, integrating your website and call tracking software brings in valuable customer information directly into your CRM. It also enables complete end-to-end reporting of lead to conversion through the call channel.
One company presented the call handler with the actual landing page the customer arrived at so that they had an immediate understanding about their intent. As a result they believe AOV went up 20%.
By taking each point of the customer’s journey in isolation, businesses will begin to notice real results.
Let’s take a look at the example company numbers for each metric, before and after they integrated four call tracking strategies.
So initially traffic acquisition went up 50%, then conversion to phone call improved by 66%, conversion to sale went up 15% and finally AOV increased by 20%:
- 1,000,000 visitors
- converting at 1% from visit to call
- converting at 20% from call to sale
- at an AOV of £1000
= £2,000,000 revenue
After (assuming some fairly typical conversion metrics, and the improvement percentages taken from each of the businesses above)
- 2,000,000 visitors
- converting at 1.66% to call
- converting at 23%
- at an AOV of £1200
= £9,163,200 revenue
The difference on these metrics is a 458% improvement. By implementing some clever software with a few smart tactics to connect online and offline efforts, it is possible to improve marketing ROI exponentially.
Gone are the days when a mobile-enabled web presence was an afterthought. According to CNN, “Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet (in January 2014) — the first time that has ever happened.”
Also, consider these stats from the compilation below: about half of all U.S. adults now own smartphones; that figure rises to 76% for millennials. Nearly half of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices. And mobile payments aren’t just for buying lattes—three-quarters of B2B vendors say they plan to offer mobile commerce by the end of 2014.
What do advertisers need to know about mobile access? How large is the mobile share of social network traffic? How does the online use of tablet owners differ from PC users? What the key differences between mobile and desktop search?
Find the answers to these questions and more here in almost two dozen facts, statistics and research findings about mobile marketing and web use from the past several months.
1. There are now 143 million smart phones in use in the U.S., and 71 million tablets. (Heidi Cohen)
2. Mobile internet access enabled by smartphones and tablets has nearly doubled the amount of time spent online since 2010. (Heidi Cohen)
3. 91% of U.S. adults now own a mobile phone. 61% of those are smartphones. (Heidi Cohen)
4. Though according to another source, 18% of adults do not own a cellphone. (iMedia Connection)
5. Smart phone use varies by age group. 81% of U.S. adults age 25-34 own a smartphone, as do 70% of teens and half of adults age 55 and over. (Heidi Cohen)
6. The leading platforms for U.S. smartphone use are Android (53%) and iPhone (40%)). Blackberry now accounts for just 3% of the market. (Heidi Cohen)
7. 189 million Facebook users (almost one out of five) are mobile-only, and mobile use accounts for 30% of Facebook ad revenue. (Fast Company)
8. And 751 million (nearly three-quarters of the total) Facebook users access the network from mobile devices at least some of the time. (Digital Buzz Blog)
9. Twitter has more than 500 million total users. 288 million users are active monthly, collectively sending out over 400 million tweets each day. (Digital Buzz Blog)
10. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they “can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them.” (Fast Company)
11. 76% of millennials own a smartphone. 73% own a laptop. (The Social Media Hat)
12. Marketers spent $4.4 billion on mobile advertising in the U.S. in 2012. That figure doubled to $8.5 million in 2013; and that figure is projected to quadruple to $31.1 billion by 2017. Search advertising accounts for about half of the total. (Heidi Cohen)
13. Mobile ads perform 4-5 times better than online ads. (iMedia Connection)
14. 25% of Americans use mobile devices (primarily tablets) only to access the Internet. And there are five times as many cellphones in the world as there are PCs. (iMedia Connection)
15. Forget branded apps though. 93% of consumers say branded apps don’t contribute to their brand loyalty. (iMedia Connection)
16. And there’s this: “99% of apps only get used once. Unless your app does something amazing that no one else’s does, then the reality is that it will get downloaded, opened and forgotten about.” (The Social Media Hat)
17. 60% of Twitter users access the network from mobile devices at least some of the time. (Digital Buzz Blog)
18. Tablet users spend, on average, 50% more online than do PC users. (The Social Media Hat)
19. Nearly half of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices. (The Social Media Hat)
20. On desktop searches, roughly one-third of clicks go to the top organic result. Average CTR on mobile devices tends to skew even more towards the first position, as smaller screens offers fewer listings at any one time. (Brent Carnduff)
21. Currently, about half of B2B vendors sell through mobile (including stores and applications), while 3 in 4 respondents plan to offer mobile commerce by the end of 2014. (MarketingCharts)
Mobile web search is no longer of importance only to restaurants and retailers seeking to bring in more local street traffic. It’s rapidly becoming imperative even for the big-data, desktop-centric B2B world. Consider that, according to recent findings from the Pew Research Center:
- • 86% of adults own a mobile phone (the percentage is even higher among business professionals), and more than half of them use their phones to access the Internet.
- • Smart phones now outsell PCs.
- • 28% of all Internet usage is on mobile phones.
- • In sectors like travel, retail, and entertainment, mobile search queries have increased roughly 70% in the past year.
- • B2B mobile web use still trails consumer search, but is growing rapidly. Anecdotally, one of our clients had 4% of all access to their corporate website come from smart phones last month; not a huge number, but that’s up from just 1% a year ago. Another launched a mobile version of its company website in March; traffic to it has surged 250% in the past six months.
While mobile site SEO has some similarities to traditional best practices, it also has many of its own unique requirements. Here are a set of on-page, technical and link-building techniques to optimize a mobile website for search.
On-Page Mobile SEO Techniques
As with traditional websites, follow basic on-page optimization best practices on mobile sites: use keywords in your mobile site content, headings, keyword links, image alt tags, and of course, page meta titles. But keep meta titles short: absolutely no more than 65 characters (including spaces), and preferably 45 or less (the display limit in the Safari browser).
Social and mobile go together, so include popular social sharing buttons (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email) on your mobile web pages to make them easy to share.
It may seem obvious, but make sure your corporate website and mobile website link to each other.
The specific search phrases that people use on mobile devices are often different than those they may use from a desktop. And it’s often easier to rank for popular short phrases in mobile search than in desktop search due to the lower level of competition. So, use Google’s keyword research tool to analyze mobile-specific search phrases.
Mobile SEO Link Building
Get your mobile site listed on popular mobile sites like Google Maps, Yelp, Foursquare and Facebook Places.
Also get the site listed in high-authority mobile directories.
Include your mobile website link in your YouTube channel and add mobile site calls to action (CTAs) within your posted videos.
Technical Mobile SEO
Some sources have suggested that using a single website with responsive design is best for SEO, with a subdirectory approach (company.com/mobile) being second-best, followed by a subdomain structure (m.company.com) and finally a separate top-level domain (company.mobi). However, Mashable more recently reported that the search engines have figured things out and there is no longer any SEO penalty for having a separate mobile URL.
Validate your code. Mobile devices are less forgiving of dodgy code than desktop PCs.
Follow Google’s recommendations for building mobile-optimized websites.
Following the mobile website SEO best practices above should help your site rank well even in highly competitive spaces. In the (for now, at least) less crowded mobile B2B space, it should really help your site stand out.
Additional Mobile SEO Resources
Mobile SEO Best Practices (long and rather technical, but very well done; if terms like “site transcoding,” “user agent detection” and xHTML don’t phase you, then check it out)
You’ve seen the statistics: mobile browsing (e.g., browsing the web using a smart phone or other mobile device) will eclipse desktop web browsing sometime in 2013. Yikes! More than half of my website traffic coming from mobile phones? I’m not ready!
Relax (unless you’re in the relatively small group of businesses that shouldn’t). Mobile browsing is unquestionably having an impact on website strategy, but the impact varies widely among different sectors based on a variety of factors.
Type of business: if you run a bar, restaurant or specialty retail shop that is dependent on local traffic, then by all means you had better have a sophisticated local and mobile web strategy. As recently as five years ago, many of your patrons were likely finding you through the (print) yellow pages. Most households don’t even want those tree-killing doorstops anymore, much less do they use them.
Local service businesses have a bit more breathing room, but only a bit. If you offer home repair, plumbing, electrical, landscaping or other types of services, your clients may use the “big screen” of a desktop or laptop PC to find your company, read about your offerings. and research reviews. But even this simple research is becoming increasingly mobile.
For B2B companies with complex offerings, however, the pressure is far less urgent. For considered purchases, where the research is generally conducted within the workplace environment, desktop browsing still reigns. Based on analysis of traffic patterns of b2b technology websites I’ve worked with (more than 40 are displayed in my Google Analytics home screen view currently), mobile browsing is a growing but still fairly small part of the picture. This is not a comprehensive study but is likely to be generally representative of B2B websites.
Note that, on the one hand, the share of total website traffic nearly doubled from the first quarter of 2011 to the first three months of 2012—a clear indication of increasing use of mobile browsers to access b2b websites. But note also that the mobile proportion is still only 1 of every 16 visitors on average, and as few as 1 of 50 at the low end of the range. Hence: prepare, but don’t panic.
That observation doesn’t tell the complete story, however, as a portion of those visitors are using tablets, with screens almost as large as small laptops. What’s really crucial to consider is how many visitors are coming to your site from a smart phone with a small format screen.
When tablets (such as the iPad) are excluded, the share of mobile visitors is considerably smaller; roughly 2/3 of all mobile visitors. These are the potential visitors for whom you really need an optimized mobile website experience. But though they have increased by nearly 50% in the past year, they still account for just 1 out of every 24 visitors to the typical B2B tech company website, on average.
Type of information sought: whereas desktop computers are used for a wide range of tasks including in-depth research, mobile devices (in a b2b context) are most frequently used for three purposes:
- • Fact-checking: is the software both Windows- and Mac-compatible, or better yet, completely cloud-based? What are the dimensions of a device, or specific properties of a material?
- • Location-based information: where is your closest sales office? Where can I take the item for service?
- • Communication: not surprisingly, as communications were the initial purpose of mobile devices, your customers and prospects will often visit your mobile site seeking to contact your company. Make it easy with click-to-call buttons, email links, and links to your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.
Demographics: while one has to be careful here to avoid stereotypes (and it is true that 82% of CEOs own smartphones), there’s no question that digital natives (those born in 1990 or later) are simply more immersed in mobile technology (having literally grown up with it) and are therefore likely to be, all other things being equal, heavier users of the mobile web than are typical b2b decision makers (generally in their 40s, 50s or 60s).
Again, a sophisticated mobile presence is essential now for bars, clubs, gyms, universities, restaurants, theaters, and any other business catering to 20-somethings. Digital natives are the b2b decision makers of tomorrow, so again, when it comes to b2b mobile web presence, companies need to prepare but not panic.
Specifically, here are three steps b2b marketers should take today if they don’t already have a mobile strategy in place:
1. Check you website analytics to see what percentage of your visitors are coming from mobile devices. If it’s more than 5%, you need to develop a mobile plan for website design. If it’s more than 10%, you need to develop a mobile website—quickly.
2. Check to see how your current website looks on a variety of mobile devices, or use mobile device emulators. If it isn’t the experience you’d want your customers and prospects to have, you need to develop a mobile plan.
3. When developing your mobile site plan, be sure to incorporate best practices in mobile website design.
When it comes to mobile and b2b, don’t freak out over the hype, but do take action.