E-Mail Continues to Prove Its Effectiveness to Reach Prospects…Learn How

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According to a June 22, 2017, article in Entrepreneur, the first marketing e-mail was sent nearly 40 years ago by a marketer named Gary Thuerk from Digital Equipment Corporation. Wanting to promote his company, Thuerk decided to send an e-mail to approximately 400 people. It worked! His company saw a huge spike in sales. And, the rest is history.

While there’s no denying the effectiveness of e-mail, one of the inherent problems for marketers is the reality that prospects have short attention spans. But, there is good news on that front. After analyzing data from billions of e-mail opens from 2011 to 2016, Litmus just released a report that states the average time spent reading an e-mail has increased by nearly 7% since 2011.

That’s great news, but the reality is that attention spans are still pretty short. So, for our e-mails to be the most effective, we need to keep these guidelines in mind:

  • All of your e-mails MUST be mobile friendly. If they aren’t, you will lose subscribers.
  • Make sure your subject line speaks to what is in the content of your e-mail. If it doesn’t, your readers feel tricked.
  • Take advantage of headlines, subheads, and bullets to quickly communicate information.
  • If you are going to use an image, make sure it’s a good one that grabs attention and connects relevantly to your content.
  • E-mails that take a long time to load because there are too many large images won’t get read. Period.
  • Sometimes you need to write a long e-mail, and that’s okay. Just make sure you don’t go over 102kb because if you do, it will likely get clipped by the e-mail provider.
  • Always test your e-mail across platforms to make sure it can be opened and read and that all of the links work.

 

 

How Digital Signs Affect Our Everyday Lives

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If you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed that you’re seeing more and more digital signs – everywhere. They are used to share information and advertise a multitude of services and products. But while they are prolific, they aren’t obtrusive. That’s because digital signs and their messages feel so natural and organic that you don’t even realize you’re receiving a marketing message. But, you are…and it’s very effective. You absorb the digital message without considering the platform delivering it to you. (In a study by Arbitron, 47% of people remembered the content of an ad they saw on a digital sign 30 days later.)

If you haven’t noticed digital signs yet, I bet you will now that they are on your radar screen. I think you’ll realize you’ve been seeing and benefiting from digital signs almost every day and may not have noticed it until now.

The infographic below was created by Digital Signage. I wanted to share it with you today because it shows how a typical consumer (like you and me…and our prospects!) can encounter over a dozen digital signs in a typical day. If you’re not using digital signage, you should explore this highly effective platform.

 

Tips For Tapping Into Multiple Marketing Channels

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While there are many marketing channels, not all of these platforms or strategies will be right or work for your business. You need to know which channels to choose and how to strategically use each outlet. There is no reason that your business should struggle with coming up with ideas for your marketing plans. The list of marketing channels you can use for your business is deep and varied. You just need to know your options and how to use them.

In our hyperconnected, media-filled world, there are dozens of ways to connect with and engage audiences. Here is a list I found that Spectrio compiled of 41 ways to use in-person and online marketing channels to get noticed by new and old customers and clients.

Go Where Your Audience Is

This long list of marketing channels may be a little intimidating. So drill down into the list by first eliminating the platforms you know won’t connect with your target audience. For example, if you know your ideal customers aren’t social media savvy, don’t spend time on Instagram and Pinterest.

Repurpose Content When You Can

This list may also seem intimidating because it includes such a long list of content needs. But, don’t feel as though you need to create content from scratch for each of these marketing channels.

Look for ways to reuse and repost content (such as using a video you made for TV ad also as a Facebook ad and YouTube Video). Repurposing content stretches your resources and alleviates some of the stress of content creation.

Create a Content Library and Editorial Calendar

To get the best use of your content, organize your plans and past work. Create a content library that lists all of the copy, video, multimedia, graphics, and long-form content you have created. Use the library to identify opportunities for repurposing and to prevent your team from creating duplicate or redundant content.

Also, use an editorial calendar to plan for the future. Add your ideas to a year-long calendar that coordinates your marketing efforts and keeps your team on track.

There are multiple, effective marketing channels your business can tap into. You just need to know what they are and have a plan for utilizing them.

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Customer Experience

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For quite awhile we’ve thought of digital marketing as just what we do on the Internet, mobile phones, and smart devices. But, the ante has been upped. In-store digital display advertising is becoming an increasingly more important player. And, more and more of your customers are expecting you to provide comprehensive in-store digital solutions. So, businesses would be wise to embrace the full spectrum of digital solutions because they dramatically improve the customer experience. Here’s how:

 

  1. Enhance Execution of Customer-Centric Strategies

By combining digital technologies and operating capabilities in an integrated, well-sequenced way, you’re able to reshape your customers’ experience. And, happy customers spend more and have greater brand loyal. Focus on simple, immediate, and individualized digital solutions to build a dynamic digital ecosystem that addresses your customers’ needs. Functionality is key, with customers preferring function over form. The right combination of digital strategies will help build revenue, deepen customer experience, and reduce cost.

2.Design a Customer-Centric Path to Purchase

Rethink your approach. By using the feedback from your customers that your digital (and other) strategies deliver, you are primed to design a path to purchase that speaks to the needs of your customers from beginning to end.

  1. Establish Cross-Functional Collaboration

Businesses tend to focus on optimizing internal capabilities, but the real attention should be paid to meeting your customers’ needs. The advantage of incorporating digital marketing into your strategy is that it enables you to gather instantaneous information from your customers. This enables you to continuously test and change approaches relatively easily.

  1. Be Open to Real-Time Insights

Digitization provides an abundance of “real time” insights. Use this information to its fullest to design the best customer journey.

  1. Keep Trying to Achieve Customer Participation

It will take a while for customers to adopt your digital channels. Be patient. And, use the data you collect to make changes to your approach. Make sure you inform your customers about your digital options, keep the path to purchase relevant, and guide customers to engagement.

As digital disruptors continue to reshape and dictate in the business landscape and in-store digital marketing becomes even more prevelant, customer demand for these options will continue to rise. Businesses will be smart to respond to demand, putting their customers’ needs and wants at the center of their digital transformation strategy.

 

Tips to Help You Select the Best Facebook Ads for Your Goals

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Last week I discussed the different types of Facebook ads available. Today, I’m going to cover how you choose among the options.

 

  1. What are your goals?

Like with any ad campaign, before you begin you must first establish goals or what it is you want to achieve with your campaign. Goals can be to drive leads to your website, increase store visits, or encourage attendance at an event, etc. Know your goals and then build your ad campaign around them.

  1. Which ad type(s) are relevant to your goals?

Now that you know your goals, take a look at the list I published last week. Which ones are relevant to your goals? You can see how this narrows things down for you, making your work easier and far more targeted. Another thing you’ll quickly notice is that more than one ad type will apply. Great! Make use of all of them! This is a great opportunity to gain some valuable analytics, testing one Facebook ad type against another to see which one(s) work best for your needs.

  1. Whom are your talking to?

You must know who your target audience is and then speak to them directly. Create compelling ad copy that addresses their needs, concerns, interests, etc.

  1. What is your call-to-action?

Facebook can help here. They supply you with different calls-to-action you can use on your ads. This is another opportunity to test different calls-to-action to see which works best for your prospect.

  1. What does your ad need to look like?

Facebook’s Ads Manager tool can help you with this one too by offering an array of options for your ad design. Not only can you choose between image, video, photo grid, and carousel layouts, but you can also customize your ads for mobile and desktop audiences. And, make sure you vary your design. Don’t use the same template for every ad.

  1. Test, analyze, and repeat.

The real beauty of digital advertising is that it makes testing, analyzing, and optimizing future ad campaigns relatively easy. If you want a high ROI, you must study your data analytics over time and make the proper adjustments.

Armed with these six tips, you should be in a strong position to begin your Facebook advertising. Remember that successful advertising is all about proper layering. You need to get your message out on several different platforms. If you’re not currently advertising on Facebook, I encourage you to give it a try.

Which Facebook Ad Type(s) Should You be Using to Reach Your Goals?

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With statistics like these, it’s clear to see that Facebook ads are an effective way for you to reach new prospects where they are. Did you know there are different types of Facebook ads? They now have more options for advertisers that enable you to reach new audiences and retarget previous site visitors back to your brand. But, as is often the case, with more choices comes more confusion. Which Facebook ad types are best for you? To answer that question, here’s an overview of each of the different Facebook ad types.

13 Types of Facebook Ads

1. Brand Awareness Ads – Use brand awareness ads to introduce your brand to Facebook users. Make the ad captivating, so users will see it as they scroll through their news feed. The objective is to spark interest in your brand. Video is a good option for this one.

2. Website Conversion Ads – Think of this type of ad as a quick fix. While brand awareness ads aim for long-term attribution, this ad type encourages users to click on an ad to be directed to a specific page on your website for a specific purpose. Think “limited time only,” sign up for a newsletter, special sale, etc.

3. Lead Ads – This is a great option for inbound marketers because Facebook users can fill out lead generation forms directly within the Facebook app.

4. Lead Generation (Full Form) Ads – Typically with lead gen a user sees an ad on Facebook and clicks to be directed to a form on your website. They have to leave Facebook to access the form. This type of ad does away with that. With a simple click a form pops up. Once the user submits the form on the lead ad, they can click out of the ad and go back to browsing on Facebook. The data also integrates with your CRM.

5. Store Visits – Use this option when your objective is to reach users in a specific location. These ads target users in a specific geographic location.

6. Local Awareness – This option is similar to a store visits ad, but it works to drive brand awareness in a specific geographic region, similar to brand awareness but much more targeted.

7. Event Ads – You guessed it. This ad type works great when you have an event coming up that you’d like to promote. Use this ad type along with Facebook’s event feature to try to increase your attendance. However, if you’re looking to have users sign up on a specific web page, you should use website conversion ads.

8. App Install Ads – These ads are focused on generating new users. They highlight an app’s main functionality in the hopes users will choose to install. 

9. App Engagement Ads – As the name suggests, these ads are designed to generate activity with your current users. App engagement ads are meant to generate activity two ways: by encouraging an app among your current users or highlighting app features for perspective users. The ad copy and call-to-action promote specific features rather than a download or install.

10. Clicks to Website Ads – This ad type enables you to direct users to specific website pages or blog posts. This type of ad has a variety of creative options available to it.

11. Offer Claim Ads – For these, you make an offer like grand opening sale, discounts, holiday specials, etc., and then direct users to a specific sign-up page on your website.

12. Page Like Ads – These are great for increasing your organic reach by asking users to “like” your page. Once a user “likes” your page, they will start receiving your organic content as it’s posted. This option works nicely along with other social platforms. And to get double duty from an ad, you can always include a “like page” option on any of the other ad types.

13. Post Engagement Ads – If you are a frequent poster on Facebook, you know which of your posts performed the best. This option allows you to take your top performing posts and expand your original audience by attracting interested users and showing them the kinds of posts they’ll receive if they follow you.

Keep these different options in mind when you’re using Facebook to market your business. Chosen wisely, Facebook ads are an effective marketing option.