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Marketing Strategies News

5 KPI Dashboards to Track Email Marketing Performance

Email marketing is the most effective way to engage with prospective leads and customers. But, with that being said, not all campaigns are equally effective. 

So, how do you know which campaigns are driving the best results? In order to answer this question, you need to be regularly tracking your email marketing performance to determine what is working and what is not. This means understanding your email marketing metrics and KPIs. 

When determining the metrics you will use to track your performance, you need to first identify your goals. So ask yourself, ‘what is my objective with this campaign?’ Is it to generate more leads? Are you looking to increase engagement? 

Whatever goals you are looking to achieve, you will want to use metrics that can measure both your outcomes and your progress towards reaching those goals. 

Top 10 Metrics To Track Your Email Marketing Performance 

Each campaign will have its unique set of priorities, but, there are a few metrics you should always consider when tracking your email marketing performance. Let’s take a look at them in more detail: 

  • Open Rate 

When running your email campaigns, tracking open rate will give you a good indication of the success of your marketing efforts. This metric will tell you the percentage of recipients who opened your email, in other words, it will highlight how engaging your subject line is.  

When creating your email campaigns, your subject line should be engaging enough to compel recipients to open your email. So if you notice your open rate is low, you may want to A/B test a few different subject lines to see which one best resonates with your audience. 

Calculation: (Total number of people who opened the emails / Total number of people who received the email) x 100

  • Click Through Rate (CTR)

CTR will tell you the percentage of people who clicked on a link in your email. This is important because once a recipient opens your email, you want to ensure you increase your chances of achieving a conversion. 

As more recipients click a link in your email, the higher your chances will be of getting that recipient to perform your desired action. If you notice a decrease in CTR this could indicate that your audience may not be finding your content relevant. 

Calculation: (Total number of people who clicked a link in your email / Total number of emails delivered) x 100

  • Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribe rate will measure the percentage of users that unsubscribe from your mailing list. Even though this may sound like a negative metric, a change in your unsubscribe rate does not necessarily mean you need to change your strategy. Your subscribers will naturally unsubscribe from mailing lists over time, so by regularly monitoring this metric, you will have a better understanding of what normal rates look like for you. 

You can also use this metric to monitor the quality of your mailing list. You want to ensure that engaged contacts remain on your mailing list and that unengaged contacts unsubscribe. 

Calculation: (The number of unsubscribes / the number of emails delivered) x 100

  • Conversions

Conversions will look at the number of people who completed a desired action. This metric can be used to highlight the impact of your marketing efforts. To clarify, a conversion does not necessarily mean a purchase; it can be anything that you identify as valuable such as signing up for a free trial, downloading an ebook, watching a video, and more. 

If you notice your conversions are low, you may want to review the content on your landing page or optimize your email call to action (CTA). 

  • Spam Score

Nowadays, email providers make it easy for recipients to use filters to mark emails as spam, making it harder to ensure your email finds its way into the inbox. Your spam score will highlight the inbox friendliness of your emails. So with this in mind, it is essential to regularly monitor this metric.

A high spam score will affect the deliverability of your email campaigns and damage your domain reputation. It can also indicate your recipients are not valuing your content so if you keep receiving a high spam score you may want to think about readjusting your strategy.

  • Bounce Rate

You can use bounce rate to measure the number of emails that were sent and were not successfully delivered. Bounce rate can be categorized into soft bounces and hard bounces.

Soft bounces refer to emails that were not delivered due to a temporary problem with the recipient server. In contrast, hard bounces are emails that were not delivered due to the address being invalid or non-existent. Emails that have hard bounces should be immediately removed from your mailing list. Even though bounce rate is not used to track the progress towards your goals, it can help you flag any issue you may have with your mailing list. 

When running an email campaign you want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible. A high bounce rate will affect your sender’s reputation consequently impacting the overall success of your campaign.

Calculation: (The total number of bounced emails / the total number of emails sent) x 100

  • List Growth Rate

Your list growth rate will allow you to monitor the rate at which your mailing list has grown. When building your email list, you want to ensure you always maintain a healthy size in order to expand your audience and extend your reach. 

Over time, your mailing list will naturally decrease in size as contacts will unsubscribe, change their email addresses, delete accounts, and more. With this in mind, make sure to put strategies in place around lead generation to replace those lost contacts. 

Calculation: (Total number of new subscribers – total number of unsubscribes) x 100

  • Social Shares and Forwards Rate

Social shares and forwards rate is an often overlooked metric, but the truth is that it can provide you with a lot of insight into your email marketing campaign. This metric will tell you the percentage of people who click on the ‘Share’ button in your emails. 

Encouraging your recipients to share your emails with friends, family, or colleagues will allow you to attract more leads. You can also use this information to understand the content types that are most engaging to your audience and can be useful in shaping future campaigns.

Calculation: (Total number of forwards & shares / total number emails delivered) x 100

  • Return On Investment (ROI) 

Return on investment (ROI) will help you track the value you receive from your email marketing campaign. This metric will give you tangible results that allows you to highlight the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. 

Calculation: (Total revenue – total spend) / Total spend

  • Email Client

An email client is a program that allows users to access and manage their emails. Knowing your recipient’s email client is a great way to impact the performance of other metrics. 

As an example, if you know the majority of your recipients use Outlook, you can use this information to create email templates that are optimized for their specific email client. Knowing this will help you maximize your campaign performance. 

Track Your Email Marketing Efforts With Databox 

Databox is a Business Analytics platform designed to help companies monitor, analyze, and improve on the performance of the metrics that matter the most. With Databox, you have access to a variety of reporting features that allow you to track data from multiple platforms in one centralized place. 

Let’s take a look at a few features that you can use to track, automate and report on your email marketing performance:

  • Data Manager

Rather than jumping from platform to platform trying to understand your email campaign performance, you can easily sync all of your data into Databox in just one click. Databox’s Data Manager gives you access to 70+ integrations including the most popular email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, HubSpot, Klaviyo, ActiveCampaign, and more. 

If you want to sync data that is not natively available to Databox, you can use the SQL database, Google Sheets, Excel, and third-party tools like Integromat and Zapier.

Data Manager Databox Dashboard

  • Metric Library 

Each integration connection will give you access to hundreds of pre-built metrics that you can pick from to facilitate your ability to track your performance. 

With Databox’s Metric Library you can browse through 3,000 different pre-built Datablocks that combine commonly used metrics and visualization types. You can easily drag and drop the Datablocks into a dashboard allowing you to create a custom dashboard in a matter of minutes.

Databox Metric Dashboard

  • Data Calculation

If you are looking to provide more context into your email marketing performance, you can use Data Calculations to manipulate your data through an equation. With Databox’s easy-to-use interface, no coding experience or spreadsheets are required to create new calculated metrics. 

Common use cases for data calculations include ROI, unsubscribe rate, open rates, and much more!

Databox Data Collection

  • Goals 

If you are looking to track your progress towards reaching your goals, you can use Databox’s Goals feature to stay up-to-date with your performance. As an example, if the goal of your email marketing campaign is to generate more leads, you can set a Goal in Databox around the number of new contacts that have subscribed to your mailing list. You can combine goals with notifications so you are automatically notified when your goal has been reached! 

Databox Goals Setup

  • Alerts

Databox Alerts can be used to automatically notify you when there are any changes in your campaign performance. When an Alert is triggered, it may indicate you need to adjust your strategy and include an Annotation in your charts to highlight significant activities. 

When running an email campaign, you can use Alerts to get notifications on metrics like bounce rate, spam score, unsubscribe rate, and more. With this feature, you can use conditioning statements to send an alert when a metric is greater than/ less than your desired value.

Databox Alerts Setup

  • Dashboards 

Databox’s Dashboards allow you to combine data from multiple platforms into a single view, facilitating your ability to monitor and report on your email marketing performance. You can also create dashboards to drilldown into the performance of one specific campaign. This is a great way to gain a better understanding of the ways you improve performance and maximize your ROI. 

Once you have created your dashboard, you can easily share your data and track your goals. The most common ways are by using a shared link, scheduling automatic dashboard sends or c

asting it on a TV. No matter what device you are using, Databox Dashboards are optimized to adapt to any device and any screen size. 

Databox Free Business Analytics Dashboard

5 Free Dashboards Templates To Track Email Marketing Performance

With Databox, you get access to free ready-to-use email marketing dashboard templates that include the data and metrics from the most popular email marketing platforms. 

  • HubSpot Email Marketing Overview Dashboard Template 

The HubSpot Email Marketing Overview Dashboard template includes all metrics you need to track and measure the success of your email marketing efforts. This dashboard template will help you understand your overall open rate, email click rate, clicks, and new subscribers, providing you with a great view into your email marketing pipeline.

HubSpot Email Marketing Overview Dashboard Template

Integration: HubSpot Marketing 

  • Klaviyo Dashboard Template 

You can use the Klaviyo Dashboard template to learn more about how your emails are performing in real-time. The insights generated from this dashboard will enable you to improve your email marketing campaigns and business at large.

Klaviyo Dashboard Template

Integration: Klaviyo

  • Mailchimp Dashboard Template 

With the MailChimp Dashboard template, you can measure the overall performance of your email campaigns. With its easy-to-understand data visualization, you can monitor metrics like unsubscribe rate, open rate, and click rate, while also identifying your most successful campaign. 

Mailchimp Dashboard Template

Integration: Mailchimp

  • ActiveCampaign Overview Dashboard Template 

The ActiveCampaign Overview Dashboard template provides you with a complete picture of your email marketing and sales performance. You can use this dashboard to help you answer questions related to the health of your email list and deals.

ActiveCampaign Overview Dashboard Template

Integration: ActiveCampaign 

  • Sendgrid Global Stats Dashboard Template

With the SendGrid Global Stats Dashboard template, you can learn more about your email deliverability, open rate, and click rate performance. You can use the data in this dashboard to determine your list growth rate as well as your top-performing campaigns.

Sendgrid Global Stats Dashboard Template

Integration: SendGrid

Start Tracking Your Email Marketing Performance

When you are running an email marketing campaign, it’s important to determine the metrics and goals that you will use to track your performance. Using a third-party tool like Databox, you can easily drill down into the performance of your campaigns in order to understand how to optimize your results. 

Databox allows you to connect your email marketing platforms and easily create visually appealing and intuitive dashboards in a matter of minutes. Sharing your dashboards will allow you to automatically track your performance across all of your campaigns, giving you more visibility into the ways you can improve your strategies moving forward.

Categories
Marketing Strategies

Best Practices for Net Promoter Score (NPS)

If there is one metric that gives you a great overview of your customers’ opinions, it is the Net Promoter Score.

This blog introduces you to the principles of NPS and gives you actionable tips on making the most out of it.

Table of Contents

What Is Net Promoter Score?

Net Promoter Score is a rating system that reflects customer satisfaction and loyalty.

It is one of the most popular ways to collect customer feedback.

In an NPS survey, a customer is presented with the question “How likely are you to recommend [company] to your friends and family?

The respondent gives their answer on a scale of 0-10.

Based on the score, the respondents are divided into three groups:

  1. Promoters give a score of 9 or 10.
  2. Passives give a score of 7 or 8.
  3. Detractors give a score of 0-6.

Promoters are satisfied and loyal customers. They have stated a willingness to recommend your company.

Passives are also relatively satisfied with the company. However, there is still room for improvement.

Detractors are unhappy customers, who might churn if you do nothing about it.

Later in this article, you will learn what to do with each type of customer.

The final Net Promoter Score is reported with one number between -100 and 100.

It is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Passives are neutral in the equation.

For example, if 40% of your customers were Promoters and another 40% were Detractors, leaving 20% Passives, your score would be 0.

Net Promoter Score Example

Image source

Is Your NPS Result Good or Bad?

How do you know what is a good NPS result? When can you tap yourself on the back for great work on CX, and when should you get a wake-up call to improve it?

Anything above 0 means that you have more happy customers than unhappy customers. Of course, the closer to the full 100 you get, the better.

However, NPS benchmarks look different for each industry.

B2B marketing companies, for example, have an average NPS of 28 according to Survicate’s research. If your NPS is above 50, you are among the best performers.

Some other average Net Promoter Score results per industry:

  • Retail: 48
  • Software: 32
  • IT: 23
  • E-commerce: 37

As a general rule, the Survicate research data shows that

  • A score under 0 is a bad score. Plain and simple.
  • 0-30 is good.
  • 30-70 is great.
  • Above 70 means you are doing excellent! 

Benefits of Net Promoter Score

Let’s see what are the benefits of using NPS for measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction.

It’s Short and Easy

An NPS survey consists of one quick-to-answer question, and perhaps another open-ended question.

It’s easy for the customer to simply click on a number to rate the company.

The easiness and shortness result in a high completion rate. It’s unlikely that the respondent would not submit their answer after starting the survey.

Customer-Centricity

The formulation of the question puts the customer in the spotlight.

“How likely are you to recommend us? What is your opinion?”

People like to talk about themselves and feel more intrigued to answer a question that puts them first.

Contrast this perspective with the following questions:

  • How is the company performing?
  • How well did the company succeed today?
  • How is the product or service?

There is a clear difference between customer-centric and company-centric perspectives.

Simple to Interpret and Track

Because the results are reported with one number, it is very easy to interpret, benchmark, and track your performance over time.

If you contrast NPS with other types of feedback surveys, you will notice that few other metrics are as simple.

You can track the overall NPS with a simple line chart, or make pie charts out of the three customer satisfaction categories.

Identify Churn Danger and Loss of Reputation

NPS helps you identify which customers are like to churn or even bad-mouth you in the future.

If someone states that they would absolutely not want to recommend your company, they have some heavy reasons.

On the other hand, you also get to identify the greatest supporters of your company.

Some Drawbacks of NPS and How to Fix Them

Like everything in the world, even NPS comes with its cons.

Here are some risks that you run when using NPS. 

But worry not – there are solutions.

Overthinking the Question

Maybe you will think I am a bit silly when I tell you this.

When I was younger, I remember giving a lower score on a Net Promoter Score survey because I took the question quite literally.

How likely are you to recommend this event to your friends?

I was too stuck on the “friends” part. The event in question was something that my friends would not enjoy. For that reason, I couldn’t give a high score although my own opinion was positive

Of course, nowadays I know not to take the question as literally. 

But there surely are people who will.

There are solutions for avoiding this particular problem.

  1. Choose the right group of people to mention in the question. For B2B brands, it could be “colleagues”. It depends on what you want to know, too.
  2. Just leave out the part that refers to any specific group.

On the other hand, the event organizers might have learned something about their target audience through my response.

If they had collected some demographic information about me, they would be able to draw conclusions about my reference group. Then, they could see that maybe my peers are not the central audience for them.

NPS and Cultural Differences

There is some evidence that culture affects NPS results.

For example, European and Japanese customers give lower satisfaction scores compared to their counterparts in the Middle East, the U.S., and Latin America.

Based on general life experience, many people would agree with the result. 

To name an example, Americans are often less reserved and more enthusiastic than Europeans. It would make sense that they give higher scores as well.

It has even been proposed that there should be an EU version of the NPS, in which the Promoter section is broadened to include score 8.

NPS Research Data

Image source

There are even differences between the different parts of the U.S. Turns out that Southerners are more likely to give a higher score, while those in the West are more critical.

Another reason for different NPS results is different regional standards and expectations.

When companies become international and begin to operate in new countries, they might overlook some cultural differences and standards. This results in lower customer satisfaction.

So, if your international company has different NPS results in different countries, you should consider at least two things:

  1. You might get slightly lower scores in some countries even if the customer experience is good. Your customers just express their satisfaction on a different level.
  2. Your customers might be unhappy with you because you don’t comply with cultural norms. Look into it to find out if you could change something.

12 Best Practices for NPS

It’s time for the juiciest part.

Take notes of these 12 NPS best practices and become an NPS wiz.

1. Collect Regular Feedback and Automate the Process

If you want to visualize your long-term development, you must conduct regular NPS surveys.

For example, a quarterly questionnaire for each customer is a good idea. 

If you have longer customer relationships that span over several months or years, NPS helps with customer relationship management.

Many NPS tools are integrable with CRM systems, which helps you transfer data between the two and bring Customer Success to a new level.

Does it sound like a tedious task to send out a survey several times a year?

Automate!

Creating automation for NPS surveys is a small task that has a great effect.

2. Formulate A Persuasive Message

NPS is quick and easy, and once someone starts the survey, they will likely complete it.

The key is to get the customer to start the survey in the first place.

You need to write a great invitation and persuade customers to give feedback.

Use arguments like

  • It is easy to fill in the survey
  • It only takes a moment
  • The customer’s opinion is valuable
  • They can help future customers by giving feedback

The more personal the request seems the more likely customers will take time to give feedback.

If possible, make the request as an individual rather than as a company.

People are much more likely to help a person than a corporation.

3. Use Transactional and Relationship NPS

Depending on the timing of your surveys, you can get quite different answers.

Transactional NPS surveys are triggered by certain actions in an app or on a website.

The answer is based on the feeling that the customer has at that moment. If the action they are doing is going well, they will likely give a higher rating. 

On the other hand, if the customer is currently frustrated, you will get fiery feedback on how this feature sucks. 

It is of course a good thing, as you will learn valuable customer insights and have an opportunity to fix the issue.

Another option is a relationship NPS survey, which is sent out to your long-term customers at regular intervals.

When you send an email at a random time, your customer will answer more based on the overall impression. This is also important information.

Both ways to send NPS surveys have their pros and cons. Combined, they can provide you with a 360 view of the customer experience.

You just need to be mindful and take the timing into account when analyzing results.

4. Analyze Responses on A Deeper Level

Although the greatest benefit of NPS is that it gives you one number to track, it’s not enough.

If you want to reach deeper insights, you must analyze individual responses, their development, and distribution.

Is there a lot of polarization in the responses? Why?

How is your response rate doing?

Are there regional or other demographic differences?

You should especially look into the distribution of scores within Detractors.

Even though Detractors are categorized as one group, there is a broad scope of them between scores of 0-6.

Those who give a 0 or 1 are significantly more dissatisfied than those who give a 5 or 6.

5. Pair with Personalized Open-Ended Questions

To learn why your customers feel a certain way, you need open feedback.

A simple “Why did you choose this score?” will do the trick.

However, you can create rules and conditions to personalize the feedback survey according to the customer’s rating.

Here are some examples of open-ended questions:

  • For Detractors: “What things are you dissatisfied with? How could we improve the situation for you? What should we do differently? How could we make your experience better?
  • For Passives: “How could we improve our services? What could we do to make you more satisfied with our service?
  • For Promoters: “What makes you give a high score? Is there something we could do even better?

According to your own brand voice, you can get even more creative with the questions.

After all, contemporary consumers value personalized content. It will in itself improve the customer experience.

6. Segment Responses

When you have some demographic information about the respondents, it allows you to segment the results.

You could find out that people of some age, profession, or nationality are more likely to be satisfied. It might lead you further into your ideal customer profile and segment.

But beware of question overload.

If you start asking too many questions, you will defeat one of the greatest advantages of NPS: shortness and easiness.

7. Acknowledge and React

React to feedback, especially when it is negative. This is crucial for brands that have longer relationships with their customers.

Turning an unhappy customer into a loyal one starts with acknowledging their opinions.

Contact your Detractors personally to ask for more information. Come up with solutions to make them happier.

This alone shows that you are ready to serve your customers in the best way possible.

8. Take Action

In case someone didn’t get the memo: asking for feedback is one thing, but taking action on it makes the real difference.

If you see your score decreasing over time, you know something is wrong.

Pay attention to open-ended questions. If something comes up continuously in your clients’ comments, take it seriously.

Moreover, take time to save your Detractors from churning. You still have a chance to turn a hater into a fan if you do things right.

Learn to notice opportunities, but also recognize that you can’t save everyone.

Should you even try to turn around someone who gives you a 0? Probably not. 

It might be wiser to focus on those in the upper end of the Detractor scope. Those who you can still save.

9. Let Your Promoters Promote

The premise of NPS is to ask for willingness to recommend.

When someone implies that they are willing to recommend, let them do so! People are likely to follow through with the behavior that they have established.

Let your promoters recommend your company by leaving a testimonial.

Provide your happy customer with a chance to easily give an endorsement and add the testimonial request to the NPS survey.

It saves time for you and your customer.

10. Track Results Long-Term

If you start collecting regular NPS feedback now, you will thank yourself in a couple of years.

What could be more satisfying than seeing the line chart in steady growth? With one glance, you get to see all the development you have done.

On the other hand, as your business grows, you might be over the moon about success and become blind to details. It can be more and more difficult to have a sense of overall customer satisfaction. You might be in the dark about the real situation.

In this case, having NPS records is a lifesaver. It lays out the current trends, be they positive or negative.

11. Benchmark Against Direct Competitors

As we discussed before, the average NPS results differ greatly between industries. The location might also affect it.

Thus, don’t make unnecessary comparisons with other companies’ NPS results.

NPS is best used when evaluating your own development.

If you want to see how you are doing compared to others, only benchmark against direct competitors.

Those are companies that work in the same industry, have a similar business model, and operate in the same area.

12. Make It Everyone’s Business

NPS should be made a priority for every department of the business.

All teams should care about NPS and how to improve it.

Tell your colleagues what NPS is, why you measure it, and why you care about the results.

Don’t forget to share the results with everyone in the company. It is a great way to either explain the need for improvement or celebrate your success.

Conclusion

Net Promoter Score is a great tool for measuring overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.

An NPS survey is quick and easy to answer, it puts the customer first, the results are easy to interpret and track over time, and NPS helps you identify your advocates and haters.

Like everything else, NPS is not a perfect metric. The perspective might be confusing for some customers, and the results are relative to many factors, such as your industry or location.

The board introduced 12 best practices for NPS, which are:

  1. Collect regular feedback and automate the process.
  2. Formulate a persuasive message that invites people to open the survey.
  3. Use transactional and relationship NPS to gain perspective on the whole customer journey.
  4. Analyze responses on a deeper level, such as the distribution of scores and which factors might have contributed to the feedback round.
  5. Pair the NPS question with an open-ended question and personalize it to fit the given rating.
  6. Segment responses based on demographic information.
  7. Acknowledge your customers’ opinions and react to feedback, especially when it is negative.
  8. Take action based on feedback to develop your business.
  9. Let your promoters promote you by leaving customer testimonials.
  10. Track your results long-term to notice trends and see your overall development.
  11. Benchmark mainly against yourself, but also to the direct competitors.
  12. Make sure that everyone in your company understands the importance of NPS.

Take this information with you when you plan your NPS strategy.

 

Categories
Marketing Strategies

Cold Email Outreach Strategies to Land Your First Client

There is nothing more fulfilling than landing your first client. Whether you’re a freelancer or a business owner, winning your first client/customer is the most crucial part. That’s where cold email outreach comes in.

Unfortunately, implementing an email marketing campaign is easier said than done. Backlinko reports that only 8.5% of cold emails receive a response. However, most of these don’t even get the first action — getting opened and read. Even if people open 23.9% of sales emails, they deem the offers as either unappealing or irrelevant to them.

But here’s the good news: 80% of people still prefer sales reps to contact them via email. A Mckinsey study also revealed that email is nearly 40 times better than social media at getting customers. Hence, the cold outreach campaign looks promising when implemented correctly.

The solution? Create robust, personalized emails. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye. That said, here’s how to land your first client from cold email outreach:

Table of Contents

Cold Email Outreach Explained

As the name suggests, cold outreach is reaching out to people you haven’t had prior interaction. You can contact potential clients or customers via phone, email, social media, or SMS.

A perfect example is when a customer receives a call from a telemarketer they’ve never heard of before. In telemarketing, a sales representative is looking to sell a particular product. Another example is when a prospective client receives an email offer for a specific service.

When getting a client for the first time, cold emailing is better than calling people over the phone or sending messages via social media. In fact, email marketing has long been proven effective for business.

About 66% of companies use email marketing to “promote their businesses or communicate with leads or customers.” While others use content marketing, SEO, PPC, and email outreach, to get clients.

5 Proven Steps for Getting Your First Client through Cold Email Outreach

Now, it’s time to get the work done for your cold outreach. Remember, however, that you’ll send emails to people who don’t know you. At the onset, this already gives you a disadvantage. Therefore, you must resort to strategic planning for your email campaign.

That said, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Assess your service or product offer

What you have to offer is the most crucial part in your cold outreach. Ask yourself if they have value that can benefit consumers. Remember that people won’t patronize products or services offering no value.

Start by evaluating your products or services. You’ll be more excited and aggressive in your cold email campaign if they are worth buying or hiring. You’ll be more passionate about helping other people through your offers.

Step 2. Leverage tools for cold email outreach

Before kicking off your campaign, invest in the tools required for effective cold email outreach. Consider the following:

  • Hubspot: It’s a great email marketing tool for inbound marketing and sales.
  • Hunter.io: It’s an email verification and research tool best for collecting and verifying email addresses.
  • Mailshake: It’s a sales engagement platform for boosting your cold email outreach.
  • Outreach: It’s an email tracking tool best for automating your cold outreach.
  • Reply.io: It’s a sales engagement platform ideal for automating and optimizing outreach campaigns.
  • Salesloft: It’s the leading sales engagement solution in the market for a good reason.
  • Saleshandy: It’s an email tracking, automation, and outreach tool.
  • Snov: It’s another popular software designed for cold emailing with easy-to-use interface.
  • Woodpecker: It’s an excellent tool providing AI assistants for multichannel sales communications.
  • Yesware: It’s a cold email automation solution with a free version offering basic functions.

Step 3. Come up with a list of prospects

Now that we have a list of tools for your cold outreach, it’s time to look for potential clients. These prospects might eventually hire your service in the future. However, there is nothing more exciting than landing your first ever client.

Aside from using the tools listed above, you can perform manual research and due diligence. Google is the first place to start, as it enables you to search for your target market. Also, social media channels allow you to look for potential clients.

As a freelancer, you can also look for clients via freelancing websites. A few examples are Upwork, Designhill, Toptal, Fiverr, and We Work Remotely. Through these sites, you can come up with a list of prospects.

Step 4. Create a cold email template

At this point, you can now create a cold email template. It helps to have a streamlined format for your cold outreach campaign. When doing so, include the following essentials:

  • Personal greeting: Be sure to address the prospective clients by their names.
  • Brief self-intro: Briefly introduce yourself by informing who you are and what you do. Most importantly, explain why you’re reaching out to them.
  • Moment of admiration: It’s best to include some genuine compliments in the email body. That will help you justify why you’re interested in working with them. Be very specific!
  • Service or product offer: Introduce your products or services. Let them know how you can help them or how your offering can benefit them.
  • Sign-off: Be sure to thank them before closing. End your email stating that you’re looking forward to hearing from your prospects.

That said, you should include all the elements mentioned above. Without even one, your email will look incomplete. Your goal is to provide your target clients with what they need to know without going overboard.

Step 5. Personalize emails and test them

The cold email template only serves as a format. However, you must personalize the specific email content. Know your prospective clients before sending them emails. Performing research and due diligence should be a part of the overall equation.

Email personalization works a lot better. Your recipients will see that you take the time to know them before sending them emails. Woodpecker suggests using advanced personalization to double your email reply rate. Through this, they saw an increase in the rate from 7% to 17%.Email Personalization Improves DeliverabilityFurthermore, it’s best to examine your emails. Once you have created the perfect ones, don’t send them just yet. With the available tools listed above, test them to see how they look once they end up in your clients’ inboxes. That will allow you to make some necessary tweaks.

Leadlantern recommends employing A/B split testing for email marketing campaigns. This testing can increase your open rates by almost 50%. It entails comparing one email against another to check which one yields the best result. It allows you to make email changes and see which ones are promising.

Step 6. Start sending emails

At this point, there’s no other way than to send emails to your list of prospects. You can only wait and hope to land your first client.

But once you receive a response from some of them, your work doesn’t end there. Be highly critical and responsive in your replies. Send follow-up emails when necessary. Be persuasive without going overboard.

Ultimately, you’ll earn your first ever client through your cold email outreach.

5 Practical Tips for Effective Cold Email Outreach

When implementing cold email outreach, the goal isn’t just to have your emails opened or responded. The ultimate goal is to land your first client and start offering your service. Hence, there’s a lot of work to do.

According to GMass, the average cold email rate ranges from 1-5%. They analyzed thousands of email campaigns to determine this rate. Factors triggering email responses include email personalization, industry offers, and calls-to-action (CTAs).

To make your cold email outreach campaign effective, here are some practical tips for you:

Tip #1. Be creative.

Creativity is key to attracting clients or customers. This idea applies to your cold outreach campaign. The more creative your emails are, the more they appeal to your prospects. So it won’t hurt to get a little creative.

The key here is to inject creativity based on your business personality and service offers. If you’re offering graphic design, you must be as visually creative as possible. If you’re a freelance writer, you should play with the words in your email.

Tip #2. Start with a compelling subject line.

Did you know that people click emails because of the subject line? The subject line and the sender’s name are critical factors for getting emails opened and read.

Per Super Office, 33% of email recipients decide to open emails based on the subject lines alone. Also, 45% of subscribers read emails based on who send them.

The subject line is the first thing that email recipients would notice. Make them striking to catch your prospects’ attention. It’s surprising how as simple as a subject line can have a massive impact on your cold outreach campaign.

Tip #3. Personalize email.

We’ve been reiterating personalization for your cold email outreach. And that is because it is key to your campaign’s success.

Personalization means ensuring the email content talks about your client’s needs and how you can help. But aside from the body, you should also personalize the subject line. Why? Personalized subject lines get a whopping 50% open rate.

Furthermore, email personalization ranks second at 72% among the effective email marketing strategies. Email segmentation tops at 78%, while email automation ranks third at 71%.

Tip #3. Offer real value.

Congratulations! Your personalized subject lines have compelled your target clients to open your emails. However, the journey doesn’t end there. This part is where you need to be highly critical.

A potential client will only hire your service or even buy your product if you offer something of value. That’s why we advise you to assess your product or service offering.

What good is an effective cold email if you have nothing valuable to offer your client? Also, your offer won’t matter if you cannot promote it successfully via cold outreach?

Tip #4. End with a strong CTA.

A call-to-action (CTA) is what it sounds like — prompting clients or customers to take action on a messaging copy. In marketing, it encourages an immediate response or sales.

According to Boomerang, it’s best to phrase your CTA as a question. Why? Emails with 2-3 questions get higher reply rates by 50%.

Improve Email Response Rates

Furthermore, include a CTA on every email sent for your cold outreach campaign. It should appear at the bottom of the email’s body after introducing your offer and before signing off. You should keep it simple, clear, and actionable!

For instance, you can write: “If you’re interested, kindly reply to this email.” Also, refer clients to your business website or social media for further details. Or you can include a link where clients can subscribe to your channel, place an order, or hire your service.

Tip #5. Be proactive and responsive.

For cold email outreach, two key attributes are vital: being proactive and responsive.

Proactiveness means including everything in the email a potential client needs to know. Include a greeting, self-introduction, client details, offering, CTA, and sign-off name. However, don’t go overboard, as you don’t want to bombard your client with too much information.

Additionally, proactiveness entails sending follow-up emails. Yes, you shouldn’t get discouraged if you don’t get a reply. Your prospects are probably busy or might have overlooked your email. Send them follow-ups to double your response rate, per Backlinko.

Furthermore, responsiveness is the most critical when a client opens and reads your email. Make sure to respond promptly and effectively. Be strategic in your email replies. All these will help you land your first client.

Getting Started with Your First client

Cold email outreach is a viable solution for landing your first client. Whether you’re a freelancer or a business owner, be sure to harness the power of email marketing.

That said, follow the six steps above for your cold outreach campaign. Also, consider the five practical tips for effective email marketing.

With these in mind, you’ll set your cold email outreach on the right footing. Ultimately, this will help you land your first client — and win more in the future!

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Remote Work All Marketing Strategies

How to Develop a Sales Training Program that Works

It’s the start of the year, which means it’s the perfect time to implement changes in your company!  If you’re looking to ramp up your profits this year, now is your chance to start investing in your sales team.

How, exactly?

By developing a sales training program that will help drive new customers to your business, that’s how!

An effective sales training program improves your company’s sales performance in the long run. From lead generation to sales management, the program helps your SDR’s develop the skills they need to cover every step of the sales process.

Sure, you can give a few inspirational speeches here and there. However, motivational talks can only go so far when empowering your sales team. You must help improve your team’s skill set, which is what the program is for.

However, here lies the problem:

Even though businesses are spending more on training, most of them are not getting their money’s worth. Why? Because the training delivered wasn’t right for the team

You want to make the most of your sales training program. In this post, you will learn how to design and execute one that will help your team generate sales effectively for years to come.

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Align your sales training program with your business goals 

For any training program to be effective, it should support your company’s strategic objectives. After all, you’re not just in the business of developing people. You’re running a company with its own needs and priorities. 

One of the most important questions that you need to ask is this:

What should your sales team do in order to achieve your business goal?

Once you answer this question, it will be a lot easier for you to design a program focused on increasing revenue. 

Also, you need to have the right mindset to plan and execute a sales training program. If you want your sales team to improve, your program should be designed in anticipation of changes. It should not be viewed as a one-off event.

 Develop great instructional design

You need to make sure that your training program is relevant and practical for your sales team. Since sales reps are very busy people, you must make the learning experience simple enough for the information to stick. If your sales team can’t see the point of your training, they will only resort back to their old ways. 

One way you can ensure that your sales team takes full advantage of their sales training is by creating compelling content.

Feel free to get creative and use different formats and layouts to bring your content to life. Some people absorb information more effectively when listening to the material. Others prefer visual content, which is why infographics and presentations are much better for them.

Therefore, adapt your training materials based on their preferred content format to catch their attention.

Looking for sales training videos on YouTube that you can incorporate in your next program? Check out this playbook from Nutshell CRM.

Build your program on your industry’s best practices

You can’t build an effective training program without first understanding your industry’s best practices. So, find out what works and replicate that in your sales training program.  

Don’t just rely on your own knowledge but invite subject matter experts who have extensive experience in sales. Ask them to discuss important information that you think your sales team should know.

SMEs can also work with your content team to create content assets that would benefit your sales team. 

Focus on account-based marketing

If you’re a B2B company, make sure to include account-based marketing in this year’s sales training program. This strategic method shifts the focus away from a “one-size-fits-all” marketing approach to highly targeted leads.

By targeting relevant organizations and companies, your team will be able to close a deal faster! 

If you want your sales team to learn how to engage their prospects with a sales pitch, account-based marketing is definitely the way to go.

Reinforce your program

The training process doesn’t end when the last spokesperson has delivered his or her talk. You want your sales team to remember what they learned, so make sure to reinforce your sales training program. 

One way that you can help your sales team retain the information is by letting your in-house communication specialists create campaigns. Use different channels like social networking groups, posters, email drip campaigns, and webinars to impart nuggets of wisdom from your training. The more information is out there, the more likely it is that your sales team will apply what they learned. 

Conclusion

There’s no denying that a sales training program is key to the success of your team. It serves as the foundation to help you generate income for your business.

Therefore, how you communicate your training to your sales trainees is vital in achieving this goal. Hopefully, the tips above should help you get started with building a great training program for your team.

Categories
Marketing Strategies All

How to Build Trust and Get More Revenue Using Referral Marketing

Until recently, most people turn to social media platforms like Facebook to learn about the latest news and updates about brands and current affairs. One study shows that 85% of Americans point to Facebook as their leading source for news and information.

Then came the rise of “fake news and the recent Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal. In the weeks following the scandal’s outbreak, people’s trust level towards Facebook plunged by 66%.

As a result, people have become increasingly skeptical about online content published by brands, news agencies, and other institutions. 

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Referrals: Word-of-mouth marketing has gone digital

While trust towards branded content may be declining, the 2018 Edelman Global Trust Barometer report shows that the level of trust given to content shared by individuals is rising.

This supports earlier studies showing that 90% of Americans trust product and service recommendations from friends and family, with 29% deciding to purchase within the day.

It’s for this very reason why brands are now tapping into the convincing power of their current customers to get new ones at the door through a strategy called referral marketing.

Referral marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing where customers are encouraged to share a link to people they know in exchange for some form of incentive. 

Why should your company use referral marketing?

High level of trust

Instead of merely publishing the information on a website or social media news feed, your customers now become the medium that delivers your message to people who know and trust them. That personal connection will make them more willing to listen to what your customers have today.

Increase sales conversions

Referral marketing involves giving your customers an incentive for every referral that takes the right action. 

“Since they will already do the heavy lifting for you by choosing which of their friends and family will most likely purchase your products or services,” he explains. “And because people are four times more likely to buy a product or service, you can significantly increase your sales conversion and ROI.”

Quick and easy implementation

Referral marketing software programs like Viral Loop guide you by creating your referral marketing campaigns, making the whole process more straightforward.

At the same time, these software programs provide you with analytic reports so you can track your campaigns and see how it’s helping you and your team reach your set business goals.

Why use emails for your referral marketing campaigns?

Larger user base

According to Radicati, they’re three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter users combined! Of these, 76% are email accounts belonging to consumers.

Higher click-through rates

One reason why visitors give you their email addresses is that they want to stay updated on the latest deals and discounts you may offer. In fact, 70% of email subscribers open their emails if they know if a deal or discount waiting for them.

That is why click-through rates from emails are significant compared to click-through rates generated by social media posts. It’s also the reason why email marketing delivers the highest return of investment (ROI)

A huge time-saver

Email marketing campaigns are automated. Once these are set up, it will mostly run on its own. That way, you can devote more time to nurturing and delighting your new customers that come on board as a result.

How to set up a referral program?

Set your goals

Before you launch your referral program, you must first be clear about what goal you would like to achieve. This is crucial as your goal will serve as your guide in creating your referral program mechanics and your terms and conditions.

When crafting your goal, make sure that it’s measurable by setting the proper metrics and benchmarks to monitor. These will help you determine whether the program is a success or a failure.

Segment your email list

Not all of those that sign up to your email list will be a good fit for your referral program. For your referral program to be a success, you’ll need to find those on your list who would be willing to refer their friends and family.

The quickest—and most effective way—to find out is by conducting what is called a Net Promoter Score survey or NPS, which looks something like this:

As you can see, this survey asks only one question: On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you going to recommend us to a friend or colleague?

Those that answer a 9 or a 10 are the ones that will be the best fit to invite to your referral program.

Choose an incentive relevant to your product  

Sites like Slickdeals help consumers receive discounts at their favorite stores to provide a great experience. All businesses should offer an incentive that will heighten your customer’s experience based on your product or service.

Perhaps the most famous example of this is Dropbox’s referral program.

Free users that sign up for Dropbox get limited cloud storage space. Dropbox understood that the one thing that would entice them to refer their service to others was more free storage space. So that’s what they did.

First, they got their free users hooked, getting more free space by connecting their social media accounts to Dropbox. They then offered even more storage space to them by sharing a unique referral link to others however they wanted: embedding it in their blog post, sending it to their email contacts, or sharing the link on their social media account.

Not long after launching this referral program, Dropbox’s user base grew by 3900%, with many of these eventually upgrading to their paid packages.

Use the double-incentive method 

A double-incentive referral program means that you don’t only reward your customer when they successfully refer someone to your business. The ones receiving the referral link will also receive an incentive for taking the prescribed action.

Doing this increases the virality of your referral program without risking it becoming too spammy. At the same time, you can be sure that the incentives you offer won’t cut too deeply to your profit margins since they need to do something that will generate revenue for you.

When using the double-incentive method, make sure that you match the incentive you offer with what you’re asking your customers to do for you. The more you ask, the more valuable your incentive you have to offer.

Take GetResponse’s referral program, for example.

Each time one of their existing customers successfully gets someone to buy one of their packages, both the current customer and the one they referred automatically get $30 off on their next payment.

But wait! There’s more!

 

If their existing customer manages to get three people to sign up for one of the packages, they get a $30 discount for each of them and enroll in one of their premium certification courses for free.

Be clear on the mechanics and conditions

This is the most crucial part of creating a referral marketing program.

You need to be crystal clear about these details to ensure that your customers don’t feel cheated or misled. Otherwise, they could turn your referral program against you. Instead of bringing in more customers, they could use it as proof that you can’t be trusted and scare potential customers away.

Some of the things to include in your referral program mechanics and conditions are:

Who can sign up for your referral bonus?

  • Are there specific products or services that need to be purchased to get a reward?
  • Is there a limit on the bonus a customer can earn as part of the referral program?
  • How will their earnings be affected if someone they referred cancels or asks for a refund?

Personalize your emails

The importance of ensuring that you personalize the emails you send for your referral program can’t be stressed enough.

Personalizing your email from the subject line to the words you use in the content can affect its open and click-through rate. If you need to develop your brand identity, I recommend checking out Designhill.

Besides adding the person’s name in the subject line and greeting, including a picture of the person who referred them can increase conversion rates. 

In the case of Airbnb, this helped increase the number of new signups and bookings by over 300% per day!

Track and monitor your results

The last step you’ll need to do before launching your referral program is set up a way of tracking it to see if it’s actually helping you reach your set goals.

On top of the analytics provided by your chosen referral marketing software program, you also need to have Google Analytics or a similar program in place that will help you see where people visiting your site are coming from.

Ensure that you also have metrics in place that will help you get a clearer picture of your referral marketing program’s performance. Some of the performance metrics to watch for include:

  • Conversion rates
  • Email click-through rates
  • Lead generation rates

Summary

Referral marketing programs are an effective way to gain your target market’s trust and confidence by tapping into the power of word-of-mouth advertising. Only when you’re able to get this would you get them to do business with you.

Categories
Content Marketing Marketing Strategies

7 Little Known Ways To Promote Your Content in 2021

When it comes to your content marketing strategy, creating and publishing the content is not nearly enough. Though, yes, the stats tell us that content marketing generates more leads at a lower cost, or that 61% of shoppers made a purchase after seeing a recommendation on a blog, with the proliferation, your distribution and promote your content strategy becomes key.

Generating sales and building a loyal customer base continue to be one of the biggest content marketing challenges marketers face today. How do you make your content stand out enough to attract customers, then get them to trust you enough to make a sale ultimately?

Suddenly, a simple social media or basic outreach strategy falls short, and launching a website and blog is only the beginning. So when you’re looking for newer, more unique ways to get your content out there, check out these 7 little known strategies to promote your content in 2021.

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7 ways to promote your content in 2021

Repurpose your content at scale

One effective way to see big results from a content marketing strategy is by repurposing content, especially for startups.

You start by creating a high-quality piece that serves as your pillar content. This can be a long-form blog post or video where you discuss a topic at length, often covering sub-topics as you go.

From this one piece of content, you can create multiple, bite-sized content based on its content. Think things like short deep-dive articles, quote graphics, GIFs, infographics, listicles, even memes, or Instagram Stories. 

How to repurpose content using the Content Pyramid model (Image source)

Here’s an example. Say you published a 3,000-word article all about influencer marketing. In this article, you touched on how to create an influencer marketing strategy, find influencers, and manage influencers, among others.

You and your team can repurpose that pillar content by first creating shorter blog posts about those subtopics. Or talk about those subtopics in an informational video. You can turn the data you curated into a shareable infographic. Or make a square graphic with a quote from one of your insights. You might even repurpose this into short Instagram and Facebook videos that highlight your top points.

There are nearly endless ways to generate repurposed content from what you already have. This is a great way to increase the quantity of content you put out without thinking of new angles all the time.

Mention influencers within the content and then reach out to ask them to share it

Chances are you’ve dropped names of industry influencers in your content, using either an insight of theirs or mentioning them as examples that support your content pieces.

If your content offers a valuable mention about them – say, mentioning them as an expert or best example – get in touch with them to share it. As long as they see that what you’ve created benefits them, they’re likely to be willing to post about it.

One way to get in touch is by replying to their newsletters. But you can also mention them on social media or comment on their blog posts or videos. 

Distribute your written content using Quuu Promote

When you’ve put in the effort to create great content, you want that content to reach as many people as possible. And while paid traffic can be effective, sometimes you’ll want to explore new ways to get organic traffic beyond your existing tactics like social media or email. 

Consider using organic sharing tools for this. For example, Quuu Promote is a content sharing tool that lets you promote blog posts to real people who will then share your post to their network.

When you run a promotion, Quuu Promote will help you reach several content marketers and players in your industry. You’ll reach people with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts who are looking to curate high-quality posts on their own feeds.

Turn your employees into influencers. 

In the 2019 Influence by Numbers report, 42% of respondents said they tried a product or service based on an influencer’s recommendation, with 26% actually making a purchase. 

And while there is merit to engaging with influencers in your niche, sometimes you can see great results just by looking in-house.

Employees can make great influencers for your brand, especially if they talk about your company and products in a very organic, authentic way. 90% of consumers trust content containing product recommendations made by other people, but only about 30% trust content made by the brand itself.

Fashion brand and retailer ASOS makes great use of employee advocacy. Their employees have become in-house ambassadors for their newest collections, where real people create and curate looks that others can shop from the brand.

ASOS uses its own employees as their influencers (Image source)

Use chatbots to help distribute your blog posts 

If your subscribers are on Facebook (and they most likely are), you can push new content straight into their Messenger inbox. This is possible with integrations between your blog’s RSS feed and Facebook Messenger, so subscribers can instantly get access whenever you publish a new blog post.

Using Messenger as a content promotion platform can get you up to 80%-90% of open rates, which is far better than the average 20%-30% open rates from email.

You can set up triggers to send a Facebook message with new posts using an RSS feed. (Image source)

While this is a great platform for content marketers to share added value, be sure not to overdo it. Time your Messenger blasts to be far and few in between, and focus on providing value through your blog posts instead of pushing for a sale.

Write guest posts for sites that are part of syndication partnerships to expand the reach 

Many websites are members of either the same media company or are part of a syndication partnership. There can be many ways content syndication is conducted. Sometimes, relevant content is cross-posted from one site to another with minor changes made by editors. 

But most of the time – and most important for you to focus on – syndication involves a big publication releasing your articles that contain related links to your site’s native content.

To up your chances of expanding your reach, create a guest posting strategy that targets sites that take part in syndication partnerships. Some publications are part of a larger group. For example, Blavity, Travel Noire, or 21Ninety belong to Blavity Inc. Or AOL, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post are owned by Verizon.

The other type of partnership is where publications are independent of each other but agree to syndicate relevant content. Some examples of this:

  • The Muse has a syndication partnership with FastCompany.
  • Growthmarketingconf.com, LeadFuze, and B2C, UpContent have a syndication partnership.

B2C discloses syndicated articles from LeadFuze and vice versa. 

Check a site’s contributor guidelines because they will often contain any information about syndication opportunities. Many sites will list specific partners, while others might not. You might also find a syndication clause on published article pages (as seen above).

Either way, for the best chances of expanding your reach, pitch titles to these sites to get content seen across multiple publications.

Have a documented content promotion plan in a project management system

Last but not least, keep tabs on your content promotion plan in a project management system. Inside this plan are all the strategies and action steps you may want to take, but you should also include information about possible partnerships and outreach.

Use the project management system to track where you are with your campaigns. For example, if you’re pitching titles for publication to different sites, keep track of the sites where you’ve pitched, whether or not you’ve heard back, or the status of your submitted piece.

Your distribution plan may also include any paid media opportunities, such as tracking potential sites for native content advertising or working closely together for branded content or sponsored articles.

Modern problems require out-of-the-box solutions

When it comes to content marketing, the way to get on top requires more than just quality content. While producing valuable content should be at the heart of your strategy, you need strong pillars for publishing, distribution, and promotion to make sure that strategy pays off. Implement some of the tactics listed in this article, keep experimenting, and soon you’ll see your results skyrocket.

Categories
Social Media Marketing Strategies

Steps to Run a Profitable Social Media Contest in 2021

According to a late 2018 survey result among marketers, 92.6% use social media giveaways on at least one platform. 66.8% of these marketers use more than one social network to host online contests, where nearly half of all respondents (45.5%) use Instagram and Facebook for their contests to about an equal extent.

Most brands use Facebook and Instagram for social media contests. (Image source)

While contests and giveaways are popular lead generation strategies for many brands, it’s worth noting that, because of algorithm changes, running a successful contest in 2020 and beyond may need more strategy and work.

When only 10% of followers see your social media posts, how can you create a compelling and profitable social media contest?

In this post, we walk you through the 7 essential steps to run a successful social media contest in 2020, as well as some of the best practices you’ll want to keep in mind.

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Steps to run a social media contest

Set your goals

First, determine why you want to run a social media contest in the first place.

Here are some examples of goals you might consider when setting up your contest:

  • Increasing awareness for an upcoming launch
  • Increasing engagement on your social media pages
  • Generating more leads

Knowing your contest’s primary goal helps you determine what kind of contest to create, the mechanics, and the target KPIs you want to hit.

Create your landing page

Set up a dedicated landing page to help you capture traffic off social media networks and on your actual website. When you create a self-hosted branded landing page for your contest, it’s easier to design and make your page exactly how you want it.

Many page builders also integrate with the leading contest and giveaway apps, like Wishpond. 

Example of a social media contest landing page created with Wishpond. (Image source)

Select which channels to publish the contest

Now that you know your contest goals decide which channels are most appropriate for spreading the word.

For example, conducting contests on Facebook means treating copy and graphics differently than on Twitter. Or the form of your content will vary if you choose video-centric YouTube as a marketing channel for your giveaway than if you’d chosen Instagram for your contest.

Choose your prize carefully

Your prize needs to be something relevant and exciting for your target audience. If not, they certainly won’t feel enticed to join your contest or spread the word.

For example, it wouldn’t make sense for a clothing brand to raffle off a year’s supply of books, would it?

Go back to what your customers want to have or experience, and see what prize you can give them. The more the prize connects to your brand, the better.

If you were an event organizer, maybe raffle off tickets to a concert of an up-and-coming band? Or, if you were a makeup brand, give away your best selling items in an exclusive kit.

Ticketmaster’s giveaway is for a Super Bowl experience. (Image source)

Develop your contest

Finally, you know your goals, the channels you want to use, and the prize you’re giving away.

Now it’s time to develop the mechanics of your contest. Think of how you want customers and leads to engage with your contest: 

Is it through user-generated posts? Or can you do a simple like-tag-and-share contest?

Remember that mechanics ought to be simple enough for customers to want to join. Keep mechanics short, with no more than 3 steps if possible.

Simple mechanics encourage more people to engage and enter. (Image source)

Create a buzz before launching the contest

You’ll want to create some buzz before you launch your contest. Create teaser posts that will build excitement and hype around your giveaway. You can even tap influencers in your industry to help you create buzz.

Here are a few ways you can announce your contest is coming:

  • Sending an email to your current subscribers
  • Tapping local bloggers and YouTubers with small to large followings
  • Run teaser ads to start generating a following

Cross-promote the contest through other channels

Last but not least, once your giveaway is live, promote it on other channels. Just because your contest is on Instagram, for example, doesn’t mean you can’t post about it from your Twitter account.

And when you self-host your contest on your site, post on your existing channels, or run ads to lead customers to your contest landing page.

Best practices when running a social media contest

Now that you’ve got the steps to build a profitable social media contest, take note of these best practices when you’re getting started.

Review each social media channel’s policies for running social media contests

Every social media network has its policies that may affect the way you run or promote your contest.

Most policies have to do with copywriting and graphics attached to the campaign, so be sure you’ve read up on any possible contest restrictions beforehand.

Make sure your copy won’t be considered clickbait

Clickbait risks skewing audience expectations. Sometimes, clickbait copy only encourages bounce rates from your website, especially if users find that the contest was irrelevant to them or not what they were expecting.

Instead, keep things clear and concise from the get-go. Announce right away that your posts are contest-related to manage expectations. And mention the prize right away, so people don’t feel forced to click-through to your page to find out what it is.

Clearly define the rules

Rules must be clearly communicated, so audiences know exactly how to enter and join your contest. Include all necessary mechanics as well as eligibility terms, such as:

  • Age
  • How to join
  • Open contest dates for entry.
  • Number of entries per person
  • Purchase required or not

Clearly state them in your social media copy, landing page, or email blasts to make sure audiences are thoroughly informed.

Have all the proper disclaimers in place

If you have any disclaimers to provide, keep them visible for audiences. 

For example, if your contest is only open for a certain state, region, or country, make it clear from the get-go. Or if your contest is open for international countries as well, make that apparent.

Other disclaimers also include the actual prize, how you handle data of those who’ve entered, and how you plan to use this data (e.g. names, emails, and addresses, etc.).

Make your landing page lightning fast

If your landing page takes even a second too long to load, most people will abandon your site. This could have negative repercussions on your contest engagement, so be sure to use the best practices that keep your site speed up

Have the right tools in place

Use the right tools to host and manage your giveaway. Wishpond is one of the tools you can use to create different social media contests and promotions while integrating with tools you might already have, such as Shopify, MailChimp, and Zapier.

You can create contests that let users enter more than once in exchange for shares. (Image source)

Track and monitor the results and feedback

Last but not least, review the performance of your contest. Check if you met any targets you set, such as several entries or desired reach.

Conduct some social listening to find any feedback about your contest. Did users get excited by your contest enough to say something online? Did some users request another contest with a different prize?

By monitoring your results and feedback, you can create better and more engaging contests in the future. Keep experimenting to see which types of contests do best for your brand.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to creating an engaging social media contest, it’s important to plan properly and use the right tools. Set your goals, define your contest, and be sure to reach as many people as you can. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, but use these tips above to help you create an awesome contest this 2021.

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All Ecommerce Marketing Strategies

10 Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices for eCommerce Businesses

Do you know how to boost your conversion rates for your ecommerce business?

Here’s a quick refresher: conversion rate is the number of visitors who you convince to take some of the desired action on your website—share a page, fill out a form, or make a purchase, etc.—divided by the total number of visitors. 

If your conversion rates are low, that doesn’t bode well for your site. This is especially true in eCommerce, where low conversion rates often translate to low sales.

There are no hard and fast rules for what your conversion rate should look like. After all, this can vary widely between industries. In this post, we take a look at the most effective, industry-agnostic conversion rate optimization best practices for eCommerce businesses.

Table of Contents

10 Best conversion rate optimization tips

Optimize your landing pages

A key part of your conversion optimization strategy should be to optimize your landing pages. A great landing page has relevant, easy-to-read elements that cover essential details a buyer would want to know. When people stumble upon your site, the page they land on has to deliver answers based on your buyer persona’s search intent.

One way to engage a website visitor immediately is by being creative with your landing pages. Include videos that showcase different use cases for your product, and provide testimonials that appeal to your different customer types. Dream up an emotional, benefit-driven copy and cta buttons that will convince visitors they need your product.

Many of the best eCommerce platforms do a great job of developing landing pages and product pages that address their buyer persona’s pain points at each stage of their marketing funnel. Don’t be afraid to learn from the best!

Provide search options 

Adding a search bar on your website can make products instantly accessible to users, saving them valuable time. However, for a search bar to be effective, it has to be noticeable—if possible, make it one of the more prominent elements on the page.  

Amazon.com has one of the best examples of a conspicuous search bar. It is located in the site’s hero section and takes up a lot of room. The placement and size encourage users to start searching immediately. 

(Image source)

A search bar can do wonders for your eCommerce conversion rate by delivering the most relevant content for your visitors in a timely way. Not all users are in the mood to browse, so the faster they can find what they’re looking for on your eCommerce site, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Personalize the shopping experience for your customers 

Research from Salesforce indicates 57% of people are willing to give up more personal information in exchange for personalized offers and discounts. Based on this information, we can reasonably assume that a personalized shopping experience can persuade more shoppers to convert. Instead of providing broad, general content that could appeal to anyone (or no one!), companies—especially eCommerce stores—should take the time to learn about their target audience. 

You can personalize the shopping experience for your users by using a chatbot for your eCommerce business. Chatbots are software programs powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that mimic human conversations. These technologies train your chatbot to “remember” your customer’s product preferences: the more your customers interact with it, the more personalized their experience will be.

The ShopBot on eBay’s Facebook page is a perfect example of how chatbots can personalize your customers’ shopping experience. Once initiated, the chatbot offers the user a selection of different products and categories to choose from. Underneath each item, users can decide whether they’d like to learn more about the product or be given other micro-conversion options.

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The chatbot also asks questions to help narrow the user’s search.

(Image source)

The more the users interact with the chatbot, the more the chatbot learns about items the users want to purchase. The next time eBay launches an offer for one of its products, it will know which customers to contact and easily set up conversion tracking to verify their efforts.

Allow customers to start and complete purchases across multiple devices 

If you want to optimize your conversion funnel, make the buying process as user-friendly—so much so that even a multi-screen user would find it easy to complete the purchase process. 

According to an analysis of two billion global e-Commerce sessions back in Q4 of 2017, more buyers used their mobile phones instead of desktops as their primary way of communicating and purchasing. 

While it’s not a significant difference, more people used their mobile devices (40%) than their desktops (37%) for their initial journey.

(Image source)

With this in mind, remember to cater to users with different shopping habits. After all, you can have one user who prefers to browse on mobile yet wants to complete the checkout process on desktop, and vice versa. One way to implement this step is by making sure your site is mobile- and tablet-friendly (responsive), ensuring an equal user experience across all channels as much as possible.

Include trust indicators on your eCommerce site 

With all the scams happening today, it’s no wonder that some people have issues with eCommerce. To ensure your consumer trust rating remains high, don’t hesitate to add trust indicators across your eCommerce site. 

Testimonials and product reviews from previous customers are a great trust indicator to show visitors you’ve successfully delivered on your promises. Security badges also do well to boost trust in your site and improve conversion optimization.

Examples of security badges to establish trust. (Image source)

Other significant trust indicators include explaining how users can cancel an order or get a refund. Things like 30-day guarantees also do well to boost conversions, as people are more likely to try your product if they know they can get their money back if they’re unsatisfied.

Your eCommerce site should also have an SSL certificate—this shows up as a “secure connection” on browsers.

Google Chrome warns users if they’re on a site with no SSL certificate, which could severely harm both SEO rankings and conversion rates. (Image source)

WaveApps, an accounting and payroll solutions provider, does a great job of showcasing trust indicators, utilizing some of the ones mentioned above, and adding a few of their own.

First, they include testimonials from actual satisfied customers with a photo as a form of social proof:

(Screenshot is taken from Wave)

Since the company is aware that its customers will be submitting sensitive information and details as they use the platform, Wave addresses security concerns by describing its measures to keep data safe on a separate page.

Provide multiple payment methods

There is no universal payment method people are using right now. As such, it should be a  priority for eCommerce sites to provide multiple payment options. 

In an infographic highlighting survey results compiled by Milo, about 56% of respondents mentioned that they expect at least a few different payment options on the checkout page

It’s unnecessary to offer every single option available, but you can cover basic payment gateways like credit cards, PayPal, or Stripe payments. If it’s possible for your business, users could even pay with cash upon your product’s delivery (COD).

Put a remarketing or retargeting strategy in place

Remarketing refers to an automated marketing campaign that reminds a potential customer about the products and services they might have viewed but ultimately didn’t purchase.

There could be several reasons why someone doesn’t complete a checkout: they may have gotten distracted just as they were about to buy, they may have found a better price, didn’t feel a burning need to purchase right away, etc. With remarketing, your product shows up in retargeting ads to shoppers with good conversion potential to entice them to reconsider purchasing. Social media or email are two common channels for remarketing. 

Some companies offer customers exclusive discount codes and additional freebies, such as free shipping, in their retargeted ads. Even a simple reminder about the product the customer was considering can prompt people to purchase.

Example of a retargeted ad. (Image source)

Evoke a sense of urgency

Scarcity increases the perceived value of a product (think about the allure of “limited edition items”). What better way to boost conversion rates than by infusing your product pages with a little urgency? After all, if someone knows a product will be available forever, the risk of losing it is low, and there’s no reason to acquire it immediately.

But if they knew what they wanted was only temporarily available or only had a small window to buy it, it raised the risk of losing the product significantly. If you employ these tactics, you can expect they’ll complete the checkout as soon as possible!

Some examples of urgency tactics are trigger phrases like “Only until,” “Limited Edition,” “Expires in,” or “Only five left.” You might also consider adding countdown timers when doing promotional sales or seasonal deals.

This is one reason why Kickstarter campaigns can be so successful. All of them run for a limited time, and there are a set number of slots per “reward” available for customers.

Kickstarter campaigns showcase how many days are left to back a campaign. (Screenshot from Kickstarter)

Another example of an urgency tactic on Kickstarter campaigns: limited purchases per price tier. (Screenshot from Kickstarter)

Automate abandoned cart emails

Sometimes a user will go through the entire checkout process only to suddenly abandon their cart. If your eCommerce host supports this feature, you can send an automated email follow-up to remind customers about their cart and the products inside it.

Build your own email marketing campaign that can entice visitors to complete their purchase. You might even include exclusive discounts or deals in your abandoned cart email conversion rate.

(Image source)

Ensure quick website loading speed

Website optimization is a big part of any conversion rate optimization program. For many site visitors, a slow-loading website is often the main reason they leave a site without purchasing. In fact, every second delay after the first 2 seconds can lead to higher bounce rates.

If your eCommerce site takes more than five seconds to load, you might want to optimize it for speed. Here are common ways to decrease your site’s loading time:

  • Optimize images and other media
  • Review your theme (some themes aren’t optimized enough and can cause websites to load more slowly)
  • Optimize website code
  • Use a better web host provider (not all providers are created equal—a few can provide more resources that allow your site to load faster than with other hosts)

Those recommendations are just scratching the surface; there are many more ways to increase the speed and improve your website’s performance. Think of improving site speed as an ongoing CRO process that you will need to evaluate continually. If you improve it over time, your website traffic will show their thanks by converting more frequently.

Improving conversion optimization in your online store

Whether your eCommerce site is new or has been around for decades, a higher conversion rate should be a top priority if you want to continue to generate more sales. Constantly review your analytics, don’t be afraid to experiment, and keep innovating the way you do business. Be sure to implement the tactics above as a starting point for your CRO strategy, then keep tweaking to continue increasing conversions on your website.

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Marketing Strategies All

7 Ways AI Can Help Scale Your Small Business

Reports on the average American’s personal finances and financial literacy show that many Americans may be spending above their means, getting deeper into debt, and lack the necessary budgeting skills to get them by.

And while this is the golden age for getting into business, we have to deal with the reality that competition for the eyes and wallets of now money-conscious customers can be fierce. 

Everyone is trying to entice the average consumer, who already has such to spend what limited money they have, on their products – making it crucial and necessary for small ecommerce store owners to do everything they can to market and grow their business.

But how does one accomplish this with limited manpower and an even more limited budget?

Our answer: artificial intelligence, of course.

Table of Contents

Ways to scale small business using AI

From letting us order food from our favorite restaurants on-demand to doing a complete Google search simply by talking to our phones, artificial intelligence is everywhere

And small ecommerce businesses especially should be making the most of this to reach their customers, deliver spectacular brand experiences, and scale their businesses.

Ready to scale your small business using AI? We’ve identified 7 areas where even a small online business owner can leverage AI.

Predict marketing campaign performance

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First and foremost, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns – even future ones – is no longer a matter of guesswork.

Using AI, you can make as-close-to accurate predictions as possible for future campaigns. Predictive analysis tools let you design your campaigns in ways that fit into your customers’ lives while telling your brand story. 

These predictive tools can usually tell you based on insights, content audits, market analyses, and previous data which of your campaigns will most likely perform best.

Tools: Google Business Tools,

Understand your customers and competitors better

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Many businesses use AI to keep track of their competitor’s next business moves and current campaigns, which can often give them better insights about their customers as well.

You can keep track of market trends, especially from big name competitors who may have wider access to tools. Leverage their knowledge and campaigns, get to know any changes they’re making in their own marketing, and use that information to adapt and craft your next campaigns.

Tools: ZoomInfo  

Personalize your marketing offers 

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AI tools are great for personalizing marketing offers. With 77% of customers actually expecting personalized offers and content, this tactic could make or break your brand in the eyes of customers.

Many customers are willing to surrender personal data like names and email addresses if it meant getting highly targeted offers right in their inboxes. So to avoid spam filters and make the most of the trust, be sure you’re sending emails from a custom domain email.

The right AI tools can help you segment customers based on a number of characteristics, including age, gender, geo-location, previous transactions, interests, and more. Using this segmentation, it’s easier to send relevant content and offers that then helps boost customer retention and loyalty.

Tools: Pardot

Improve your customer service

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When you’re a small ecommerce store owner, you know you can’t compete with established brands for reach. But you can still scale your small business by giving fantastic customer service that makes customers feel truly valued.

Tap into different channels for your customer service. Over 67% of users have engaged with a brand’s social media, for example, in order to try and ask for help.

Maximize your social media presence by integrating chatbots to improve customer service as a small business. And as your business grows, you can also think about implementing live chat straight from your site.

Tools: ManyChat

 Streamline your checkout and delivery process

For you to successfully scale your small business, you need to lower abandonment rates. That’s why it’s important to optimize your checkout and delivery process. This means making sure it’s easy to take payments at checkout using multiple gateways, keeping customers updated about their order confirmation and deliveries.

You can also optimize your packing, delivery, and returns experiences using automation. By making your processes as simple and easy as possible, you can deliver fantastic brand interactions that can get customers coming back over and over.

Tools: Selz

Retarget abandoned carts

Cart abandonment rates across all industries is at about 70%. On mobile, that number can rise to about 85%.

Many small business owners are losing out on sales because of these abandoned carts. Use AI to help you save customer details so you can retarget them later through a cart abandonment email.

These emails can help recover up to 28% of lost sales, making this tactic an essential step for you to scale your small business.

Tools: Privy

Track your performance

Last but not least, we are far from the days when tracking our marketing campaigns felt like guesswork. Today, you can use AI to see just how well your campaigns are doing, from social media ads down to your total sales vis-a-vis site visits.

Pay attention to these metrics as they can pave the way for important insights that can help you switch gears as needed or keep pushing campaigns that are working.

Before incorporating AI into your small business

To make the most of all these steps and AI use cases so you can scale your small business, make sure you do the following to harness AI’s full power:

Review your buyer persona

Your buyer persona contains all the information about your customer that may shape, influence, and inform your marketing campaigns.

This personal contains basic demographics, their goals, and relevant pain points that are keeping them from achieving said goals.

To maximize the power of AI, it’s important to refer back to your buyer persona – so you know exactly how to set up and deploy these tools and in which tools to even invest in the first place.

Identify key areas to integrate AI in your buyer’s journey

Once you’ve revisited your buyer persona, you can then think about where you’d want to boost your business processes with the help of AI. 

If you’re trying to scale your small business, you might want to integrate chatbots in their Facebook Messenger, allowing leads and customers to interact directly with a bot and even access useful information in real-time.

Small businesses trying to reach a bigger audience can make the most of programmatic advertising, letting your website or ad be seen across countless others. 

You can also implement social media retargeting campaigns for anyone who’s recently viewed your website or social media accounts using Facebook pixels.

Keep your website safe and secure

Last but not least, if you’re going to be installing and integrating AI tools to scale your small business, it’s important to keep your website safe from hackers.

Most third-party apps have heavy privacy and protection for users, but it’s still good to secure your website as much as you can.

Keep admin account passwords strong, use a VPN when accessing sensitive information, and backup all data about your company.

Key Takeaways

Artificial intelligence is paving the way for streamlined tasks, better insights and projections, as well as the opportunity to scale your small business by creating more interesting marketing campaigns and products. Refer to this article for some of the most effective ways you can integrate AI in your company, and soon start scaling that small business to the big leagues.

Categories
Social Media Marketing Strategies

How to Succeed With Facebook Messenger Marketing

Facebook Messenger is the second most-downloaded messaging app. And that isn’t counting how many people are on Facebook and use messaging features without mobile apps. The average Facebook user spends about an hour on the platform. This number can be even higher, depending on the region or country.  (Image source)

That said, Messenger can be a prime platform for brands to engage with audiences and provide better customer experiences, especially with how close Messenger is to SMS messaging.

Are you looking to implement Facebook Messenger marketing this year for your business? Then you’re in luck because we’re giving you the top strategies you should use to succeed at Messenger marketing.

Challenges that marketers face when it comes to using Facebook messenger for marketing

Before we jump right in to see how you can get started with Facebook Messenger marketing, you should first understand what businesses and marketers consider as the main challenges on the platform.

Knowing these, you can then craft your strategy accordingly to avoid these challenges altogether.

The first main challenge marketers face is the continuous changes in Facebook’s algorithm. In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced, “As we roll this [algorithm change] out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

The second has to do with privacy concerns, especially after the Cambridge Analytica fiasco that had millions of users’ personal data collected and used for political advertising – without consent.

Given these, it’s important to remember the following as we go through the steps for successful Messenger marketing: your marketing messages must be engaging and meaningful for audiences, and you must put customer data privacy on top.

Strategies to become successful in Facebook Messenger marketing

Ready to grow your business using Facebook Messenger? Here are some important steps to get you started.

Add a Facebook chatbot to your website

About 67% of customers have used chatbots as a customer support channel. And if a user lands on your website and sees you have a Facebook chatbot ready, you stand the chance to generate more leads faster and take people through your sales funnel quicker. 

Not many users may think to visit your Facebook page first, so be sure to integrate your Facebook chatbot on your website. One challenge to this is that plugin and integrations may have a tendency to slow down your site.

Because speed is the name of the game if you want to reduce bounce rates and get those leads, be sure you have a reliable website hosting provider with great site uptimes and can load your landing pages and site quicker. 

Look into some great hosting providers and reviews about them to see the best option for your website – as an example, this HostGator Cloud review gives a detailed take about the provider’s speed and reliability.

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Create a Facebook Messenger marketing funnel

Like any platform, turn Messenger into its own marketing funnel to take customers through a journey. Once people are part of your Facebook Messenger contacts – after, say, sending your page a message or opting in – you can take them through a marketing funnel as usual.

You can send them to lead magnets to nurture your relationship or send them links to new free content to provide more value, or even offer exclusive deals and promotions right in their Messenger inbox. 

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Segment your leads and customers

You can segment leads and customers right from the Messenger app using conditional triggers, much like with email marketing. So if you were a clothing store, you might be able to segment users based on gender, interest in certain collections, purchase history, and level of engagement.

When leads and customers are properly segmented, you can proceed to send highly-personalized content and messages that lessen your risk of being flagged as spam.

For a step-by-step guide to setting up Messenger for segmentation using third-party tools, check out this guide.

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Give your bot its own personality 

You can create better relationships with your audience if it felt like they were speaking to one specific person on your business page’s Messenger. This is why many brands and companies give their bots a unique personality to add a personal touch.

You can create a simple persona, such as giving your bot a name and avatar. This persona captures what your brand is all about, communicating messages and offers in your brand voice while staying relevant to leads and customers.

Pro-tip: be sure to never position your bot as though a real person were speaking to customers. Some laws require you to divulge whether or not a person is interacting with a bot.

LEGO calls their bot simply the LEGO Gift Bot. (Image source)

Integrate your bot with your

Facebook ads

One of the best ways to make sure your leads and customers can interact with your brand on multiple touch points is linking your Facebook ads to your Messenger bot. This way, people are able to engage with your ad without ever leaving Facebook, as some users might not want to be redirected to an external landing page.

Toggle your ad’s call-to-action (CTA) to “Send Message” so they can take action right away. Depending on your campaign, you can either encourage viewers to either opt-in to a lead magnet or make a purchase instantly.

Example of a workflow for the Facebook ad to Messenger inquiry and checkout. (Image source)

Replace the opt-in forms on your landing page

On your landing pages, be it for webinars or free downloads, you can swap out your usual opt-in forms for instant opt-ins using Facebook Messenger. This is miles more convenient for viewers since they avoid filling out lengthy forms (that can lower conversion rates) or even misspelling their emails.

Not only is this more convenient for customers, but it’s also more convenient for your business. By having users opt-in to your Facebook Messenger marketing, you’re able to easily target these users in future ads – while being certain they’re a qualified lead.

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Use to send reminders for your webinars and offers

Last but not least, Messenger is a fantastic tool for sending reminders about events and expiring offers. Because it works like text messaging, you’re able to reach more users faster and enjoy higher open rates and engagement rates.

Open and watch rates using email marketing vs open and watch rates using chatbots. (Image source)

Be sure to make your messages timely and to use last-minute “urgency” reminders sparingly. You don’t want users to report your page for spam, after all.

Key Takeaways

Facebook Messenger marketing might just be the future for brands who want to increase engagement with users when other platforms like email or organic social media posts just aren’t performing as great. Follow the strategies above to make the most of your Facebook chatbots to get more leads, nurture customer relationships, and make more sales.