Category Archives: Internet

Why is a Storytelling Meta-Template Powerful?

The storytelling meta-template is a tool that will allow you to get much better at PR and content marketing.

So, you want to sell a washing powder. You can write a standard copy: the highest washing quality, the best price, a back to school promo, buy now! But wait! In advertising everything has to be a story now, so why not sell the washing powder using the power of storytelling?

Here’s the basic template. ”Meet Kate. Kate desperately wanted to wash her clothes but couldn’t. That is until the off voice told her about this new washing powder. Now Kate’s clothes are clean and she’s happy!” Do we have a story? Yes. Is it poor? Incredibly poor. Why? Two reasons.

An ad revolves around a product. The story’s central point is the protagonist. But we have Kate in the above example. So why doesn’t it work? Well, in order for the audience to root for the hero, we need to be aware of a couple of things. First, a hero needs a goal. She needs to want something, crave for a change. Do we have a goal in our story? Well, sort of. There’s one very important thing missing from it.

A stake. We need to know why the protagonist’s craving is so important. In an ideal story, it’s the matter of life and death. Of course, we don’t have to treat it liter- ally every time but consider this: Kate met a guy yesterday, he is everything she’s ever dreamt of. And he invited her on a date today! But she’s just landed in a foreign city after two weeks of hiking, and all she has is a bag full of dirty clothes. Now her desire for the clean clothes is more interesting. Because it’s no longer about the laundry — it’s about Kate winning the love of her life. Most of the corporate storylines already have a protagonist (“Our CEO opened the new production line” or ”Wesley became the newest member of our product team”) but fail to emphasize the importance of the goal they try to achieve. Fix this one thing and your stories will be better. But there is more to it.

 

Do you know how do you engage your curiosity? I just did.

When Emma Coats tweeted the Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling, many asked: which one is the most important of them? My vote goes to this one:

You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

The harder your character tries to succeed, the harder the audience roots for him. Now let’s get back to Kate’s story. There’s no trying at all there! The same goes for most of the corporate storylines: a CEO opened the new production line. Wesley became the newest member of our team. How do you make your character try? Use the second rule of good storytelling:

What is your character good at? What is he comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them.

If the salesperson is good at winning new clients, a story about her winning a new client is no story at all. Have the CEO (a nerdy tech genius with a social anxiety) go to the sales meeting and see how she copes. It makes for a much better story, right?

 

A structure to rule them all

A book titled Culture And Narration appeared in 1976. Its authors, Edmund Leach and Algirdas Greimas, researched the structures of folk tales. They came up with a story structure: six elements each story should have. What can we find there?

  • The hero. Your typical story protagonist: Kate from the story above, our nerdy CEO or Wesley, the newest member of our team.
  • The goal. Most of the stories have them. Good stories emphasize the stakes. So the CEO needs to open the new production line or the company goes bankrupt. Kate needs her clean clothes so she can win the love of her life. You get it.

But this is where things get interesting. How do you throw your protagonist in a situation he clearly does not want to be in? You add two elements to your story.

  • The giver is someone (or something) who throws our protagonists out of their comfort zones. For Kate, it’s her two-week hiking. The nerdy CEO has to go to a sales meeting because of the nasty flu that’s decimating his team.
  • The receiver. You can come up with a very fancy reason for your protagonist to abandon his comfort zone, but your audience still needs to believe it. This is where the receiver comes in. Why would our character agree on doing something completely out of character? What would trigger them? Kate does it in the name of love. And what about our CEO?

If you got the previous ones right, you still have two more to go. These are about your story’s turning point.

  • The enemy. In classic fairy tales, it’s the dragon. In Kate’s story, it’s her dirty laundry. For our CEO it’s his social anxiety. The better you depict the enemy, the more emotional your audience will get. You need the protagonist to fall.
  • The help(er). Another character or a magical artifact that comes to the rescue. Our hero can be helped directly (think Sam carrying Frodo in The Lord of the Rings) or he can have something called the a-ha moment (like when Rafiki talks Simba into going back in The Lion King).You can recognize this structure in fairy tales, movies or advertising. But many of these stories feel… schematic. Why? Because they’re based on the same template? Well… Here comes the best part.

 

A template for a template?

Most of the advertising or PR copy that is written using the story structure follows the basic template: Your customer is the protagonist and the product is the help(er). You can squeeze a fairly decent story out of it (by giving your protagonist an unusual goal or a surprising motivation), but the audience will know (sooner rather than later) what you are trying to achieve.

You should know that there are three more meta-templates (the templates for using the story structure template) that you can use. And they’re not that obvious.

  • The product and the customer are the helpers. Someone important for the customer is the hero. Just look at the brilliant execution of this template below:

 

  • The seller is the protagonist, the customer is the helper and the prod- uct… is the enemy! A boy sells his engagement ring on eBay. He does not want to have it because the girl said no. You’ll help him… by buying the ring!
  • The product is the hero! Think of a lamp that just wants to be useful. Or furniture that craves for some warmth from the butts of a loving family…

 

 

Next time you’ll want to build your story, think of the above set of tools. Then disregard the first thing that comes to your mind. Get rid of the second and third thing, too. Now you can start telling your story.

The power of a storytelling meta-template

 

The post Why is a Storytelling Meta-Template Powerful? appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Close More Deals by Using These 5 Traditional Sales Techniques

Marketing automation is a very powerful tool. It can generate leads for your business, it can warm the doorknob for your salespeople, and it can help you close more deals. But in the end, marketing automation is not a stand alone tool. In other words, you can’t just set it and forget it. You have to help things along.  With that in mind, here are 5 traditional sales techniques to keep in mind when your marketing automation campaign starts delivering the leads you’re looking for.

 

 

Don’t start by talking about your company, your product, or your services

I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s one of the most powerful techniques you can use. After all, what is it that most people are interested in? Are they most interested in you? Absolutely not. They’re most interested in themselves. So, with that in mind, you should talk about their company and their needs, not about your company or your needs.

Ultimately, your goal is to discover your prospect’s pain point so that you can show that your product or service is a good solution for them. Which leads us to our next tip.

 

Don’t assume that the prospect knows what the actual problem is

In many cases, your prospect will talk about the symptom they have rather than the real problem. Here’s a case in point. A friend of mine who is a consultant was pulled in to solve a productivity problem at a manufacturing plant. “Our assembly line needs to run faster in order to get more product out the door, but we can’t afford to upgrade the machinery, so we’re stuck in a bind,” they said.

But it turned out the problem wasn’t with the machinery, it was with a fax machine which was located 200 yards from the guy who processed the orders. Walking the 200 yards every hour to get the orders slowed production down significantly.

$50 and a new fax machine later, the company increased efficiencies by 5% which contributed $7.5 million to their bottom line.

Which brings us back to the main point – don’t assume that what the prospect thinks is the problem is the actual problem.

 

Practice the 70/30 rule

Many people who are in sales have that job because they’re very friendly. Friendly often translates into being talkative, but talking too much can be a hindrance if you’re a sales person. When you talk too much, you can come across as someone who is nervous or insecure about what it is you’re selling.

A general rule of thumb is to do about 30% of the talking while your prospect does about 70%. That ratio allows you to listen for their pain points and then to respond to what it is that they need (not what you need).

 

Use your 30% wisely

If you’re going to practice the 70/30 rule, you’re going to have to use your 30% wisely. After all, you won’t have much time to speak if your prospect is doing most of the talking.

What should you do with your 30% of the time? Don’t do a sales pitch. Instead, ask questions. In other words, do what your doctor does when you go in for an exam – he or she will ask a series of questions that helps them zero-in on what your actual health problem is. When you ask questions of your prospect, you’re zeroing-in on what their problem is, which will ultimately lead you to a solution (that you happen to be selling at a very reasonable price, by the way).

 

Recognize that person-to-person marketing is your most powerful tool

In the end, people buy from people they like. No amount of slick brochures or fancy internet videos will sell your product or service if people don’t feel warm and comfortable around you.

How can you make people feel warm and comfortable? As mentioned already, talk about them. Take an interest in their desires and needs. Find commonalities with them. And be genuine – most people can sniff out when someone is turning on the charm just to close a deal, so be sure to take a genuine interest in your prospect.

 

A final tip

Here’s a bonus tip for you – be polite to other salespeople. When they email you or call you, they’re just trying to make a living and feed their family, so be respectful to them. After all, what goes around comes around – if you’re nice to other people, then other people will be nice to you.

traditional sales techniques

The post Close More Deals by Using These 5 Traditional Sales Techniques appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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11 Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rate

For subscribers to click through your email, they first need to open your email. I’ll be the first to admit that my inbox currently has over 1,700 unopened emails. Some of those are automated emails from services I signed up for and some of them are emails from well-meaning people who didn’t catch my interest. Whatever the case, each one represents someone who tried and failed to get in contact with me.

Now, maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you open all of your emails regardless of if you’re interested, simply so you can lower that “unread emails” number.

Surely, some of your email subscribers do this. But what I want to discuss is how to get people to open your email because they’re interested in what you have to say, not because they are checking something off their list.

Here’s 11 ways to catch your reader’s interest before they open your email.

 

1. Spend more time on the subject line.

You’ve probably heard this one before. But it’s still the single most important part of any email that you write.

The second thing that your subscribers are going to look at is the subject line (right after the “from” name). The subject line is the heart of determining if someone is going to open your email.

Sadly, most of us don’t spend nearly enough time on the subject line.

To improve the quality of your subject lines, create a list of 20 different options. Read through them and pick your top 10. Read through them again and pick your top 5. Read through them one more time and pick your top 3. Then, show the top 3 to a few other people and get their opinion before choosing a winner.

For your reference, here are some amazing subject lines that you should totally steal:

  • [Exclusive Content] Here are all your eBooks!
  • David, did you know that…?
  • We have finally done it, David!
  • [Free Tools] Download the tools we promised you.

Your subject line needs to trigger one of two things in the receiver.

  • Curiosity. Ex: David, did you know that…?

Or…

  • Self-interest. Ex: [Free Tools] Download the tools we promised you.

Spend some time thinking through your subject line and you’ll get a better open-rate.

 

2. Create a compelling pre-header.

Sadly, the preheader of an email is often neglected. But the reality is that before opening an email and after reading your subject line, there’s a good chance that people are going to read your preheader.

It’s the final barrier between an email sent and an email opened.

Think of your preheader the way you think about the tagline title of a book. The title (subject line) intrigues you, but it’s the tagline (pre-header) that gets even more specific and compelling.

Here’s some book titles that would make great subject line/pre-header combos:

  • Contagious: Why Things Catch On.
  • Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance.

Write a pre-header that goes into more detail than your subject line, drawing subscribers to open your email. It’s not just where they look, it’s why they click.

Note: Keep in mind that if you have an image at the top of your email, the alt text is what will show first. Luckily, you can just strategically craft alt text for the top image that makes for an awesome and compelling pre-header.

 

3. Create a swipe file.

This is the best piece of advice you’ll get out of this article.

And it’s dead simple.

Ready?

Create an email folder to collect all the emails you receive that had exceptional subject lines and preheaders. This is called a swipe file. It’s a personal library of amazing emails so that when you’re crafting your own, you have an idea bank to reference.

Remember, the best copywriters steal from other great writers. You should steal too.

 

4. Segment your list.

You’ve probably heard of list segmentation.

Segmentation is putting your list of email subscribers into categories based upon their behaviors. If, for example, a pool of people on your email list haven’t opened the past 10 emails, you might put them into a segmentation meant to save them from inactivity. If another pool of people are opening and clicking through nearly every email, they might go into a segmentation meant to upsell.

In other words, the emails that people on your list receive are behaviorally specific to each person.

Depending upon the tool you’re using for email marketing, segmenting your list will or will not be an option.

But if you’re serious about increasing your open rate, it’s a necessary step.

 

5. Don’t get caught in spam.

Obviously, it’s practically impossible for people to open your email if it’s going into spam.

Spam filters are intended to help people avoid inboxes filled with shoddy emails. But sometimes, email campaigns with the best intentions get caught.

What gives?

I’ll tell you what. Here’s a list of the things you need to do to avoid that garbage chute.

  • Don’t use any cute tricks, trying to cover up the unsubscribe button or putting “Re:” or “Fwd:” in the subject line. These mischievous actions are practically guaranteed to land you in the spam folder.
  • Always include appropriate alt text on your images.
  • Include an address and from name in your email.

And here’s the big one:

  • Test everything.

Want to know if your email is going to go to spam? Simply send a test email to yourself and a few friends and ask them where it went. If it does go to spam, adjust what you think might have caused it and try again. There’s nothing better than knowing for sure.

 

6. Choose the best email marketing tool.

There are pros and cons to every email marketing tool. Some get caught in spam easier than others. Some allow for segmentation and a/b testing. Others don’t.

All of these factors play into the potential open rate you can achieve. Using an email marketing tool that fits your brand personality and has the features you need is vital to increasing your open rate.

Getresponse has an email marketing tool that is absolutely phenomenal. For a more extensive list of your options, check out this in-depth piece by Robert Mening where he reviews the pros and cons of a plethora of email marketing services (he even reviews Getresponse).

Ultimately, choose the tool that works for you.

 

7. Resend campaigns to inactive subscribers.

By way of a reminder to subscribers who didn’t open your email, resend the campaign the following day.

We all lead busy lives and sometimes increasing the open rate of an email is simply a matter of reminding people that they received it in the first place.

Obviously, you have to walk a fine line with this.

Resend too many campaigns and you risk increasing your unsubscribe count. Never resend and you’re missing out on a portion of your audience that simply keeps forgetting to open your email.

Generally speaking, follow these rules:

  • Only resend email campaigns a full day after the original was delivered. No sooner. No later.
  • Only resend each campaign a max of one time.
  • Consider only re-sending campaigns that you consider vital for your audience to see — meaning you don’t resend just your everyday newsletter.
  • When you do resend, change the subject line to something more compelling. Something like, “You just missed this…” or “I really don’t want you to miss out on this.”

Resend your campaigns, but don’t overdo it.

 

8. Find the ideal frequency.

Email your list too much and your open-rate will plummet. Email them too little and they’ll forget you exist.

Unfortunately, finding the perfect email frequency is easier said than done.

Why?

Because that “perfect” frequency varies from list to list. It varies based on what your subscribers expect from you, how they think about you, and the quality of your emails.

This goes without saying, but make sure to find the correlation between open rate and email frequency. This will help inform you of the appropriate frequency for your list.

Additionally, here are a few ways to use the appropriate frequency based on your list segmentations:

  • Decrease email frequency for people who rarely open your emails.
  • Increase email frequency for people who open most of your emails.
  • Create a survey and ask your list how often they wish to receive your emails. Then place each subscriber in an appropriate segmentation.

Find the sweet spot for your list and your open-rate will automatically increase.

 

9. Find the best time of day.

Much of email marketing comes down to timing.

The best time of day to email, depending on your audience, is mostly the same across the board.

If you have an audiences of Nurses who work night shifts, then the optimal email time might change. But according to GetResponse, generally, the best time to email your list is on the weekend at around 6 a.m.

 

email open rate by day email open rate by hour

 

This makes sense because most people are less busy on the weekends and pay more attention to their email. Send when people are most likely to open your emails or you’re doing yourself and your subscribers a disservice.

 

10. Optimize for mobile.

Most email marketing services and templates come with built in responsivity.

But if yours doesn’t, you’re making a huge mistake. 66% of all emails are opened on smartphones or tablets, meaning that if your email campaigns aren’t mobile responsive, your poor list of subscribers is receiving stuff that looks like this.

 

email open rate on mobile

 

Nothing turns off subscribers like lazy email campaigns. And sadly, that’s exactly how an email like the above example feels.

A few points to keep in mind:

  • Use small file sizes. Everything runs slower on mobile and a slow load time is sure to get an immediate bounce.
  • Resize images to make sure everything fits in the mobile screen.
  • Make CTA’s a little bigger than they used to be. Small CTA’s are harder to click on phones.
  • Make sure to use mobile responsive email templates.

Mobile responsive emails are a must for anyone who’s serious about their email campaigns.

 

11. Use a real person’s name in the “from” field.

I thought I’d finish with an easy one.

Instead of using your business name in the “from” field, use the name of an actual person. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s your customer support person. Whatever the case, use a real person’s name.

67% of subscribers open an email simply because of who the email is from.

Using a real person’s name creates the sense that you’re not a robot, but you’re a human being with wants, desires, and personality. Often times, it’s that personality that people connect with. And once they do, they’ll keep opening your emails simply because they like you.

Tell them who you are in the “from” field and they’re more likely to open your emails.

 

Test Everything…

I could give you hundreds of tips and best practices that promise to increase your email open rate. And while many of them are good, you know your list better than anyone.

The best thing you can do is test everything. Play around with different subject lines and pre-headers and see what gets the best results.

At the end of the day, people aren’t opening an email. They’re opening a conversation. A conversation that starts with you and ends with them.

And no one knows better how to start that conversation than you.

So get started.

increase email open rate

The post 11 Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rate appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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8 Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Email Subscribers

I stopped in a small, local antique shop the other day when the owner held out a spiral bound notebook and asked if I’d like to write down my name and email address so I could be notified of a coming sale. How many “forms” like this one had I filled out online in the past month, let alone year, to get news, secure a discount, or learn more about a product? Yet this simple gesture stopped me in my tracks because it was so rare — a face-to-face interaction between an email marketer and a subscriber.

Marketing automation software has changed the game and worked wonders on our ability to stay in touch with a global customer base on ways that are more timely, consistent, and engaging than ever before.

Yet it’s also made it easy for us to start thinking of our subscribers more as data merge fields than as real people.

 

Email marketing has changed the conversation

When we have a B2C encounter face-to-face, it’s simple to get a conversation going. Before I was handed that notebook, the owner had also asked me how I’d heard about the store, if I’d been there before, and what I was looking for. It was easy and pleasant to answer her questions as I browsed.

But email is different. While few people would straight up ignore questions being asked of them in person, try sending customers a survey with same inquiries and you might expect anywhere between a 5 – 15 percent response rate — not exactly a great representation of your group.

Furthermore, consciously or not, people have a tendency to lie on surveys. Reacting to false that feedback could send marketers down an entirely wrong path.

 

Data bridges the gap

But beyond speed and scope, email automation has another advantage over in-person interactions — data. Data tells the story that people can’t or won’t tell themselves. It tells us who our subscribers are, what they need, and how we can serve them. However before you can get those answers, you have to ask the right questions. Here are eight questions you should be asking about your email subscribers and answering with data.

 

1. What are their names?

It’s much easier to get someone to fill out a single email field than it is to ask for more information. Yet it’s worthwhile to test asking for at least a first name at sign-up. Personalized emails draw the eye and deliver six-times higher transaction rates.

 

2. Do they know what they signed up for?

It can be tempting to use a contest or other workaround to gather subscribers. But more than likely, you’ll see massive disengagement once you start to send emails. Worse yet, if your subscribers don’t understand what they signed up for, they may flag you as spam hurting your campaigns overall. No matter how you sign up subscribers, send an auto-responder immediately afterwards. This gives unwitting sign-ups the chance to opt out and begins to build a strong relationship with people who want to be there.

 

3. Where did they find me?

Speaking of getting subscribers onto your list, it’s critical that you understand the path your subscribers took to get to you — and not just the page of your site they signed up on. How did they get to that page? Was it an organic search, a referral link, social media? And what pages did they click on before signing up? Following your users’ paths will help you answer the next question …

 

4. What is their problem?

Most consumers don’t come to product site looking to make a purchase, they come looking for a solution. The distinction is important because the former assumes that consumers want what you’re selling while the latter defines that they still need to be convinced. Mapping your subscribers’ journey to your sign-up page as well as closely monitoring their engagement behaviors will help you understand what challenges they have so you can convince them your product or service is the solution.

 

5. Where are they reading your email?

By the end of next year, 81 percent of email users are expected to access their accounts on mobile. These numbers can vary based on who your audience is and when they are opening your emails so it’s important to check your data, optimize for all screens, and test for a variety of devices before sending.

 

6. When are they reading your email?

You can do a Google search turning up any number of data points about the best days and times to send email. But the truth is, the best time to send email is when your subscribers are reading it. If your subscribers tend to be in the same industry or geographic area, there may be times that are uniquely suited to their needs.

Teachers, for example, may check email very early in the morning before students arrive then not again until later in the day. Office workers may be bombarded with a full inbox on Mondays, and emails sent on that day can get lost. Testing is key. Think about your audience then test different days and times to see what works.

 

7. Can they see my email?

If you aren’t asking this question, you might be spending hours designing a beautiful HTML email that few people can see. Check your HTML emails for accessibility by adding alt text to your images and using both button and text links. Mix styles up on occasion — while most subscribers report that they prefer HTML emails, plain text actually gets higher open rates.

Lastly, clean your lists. If a group of subscribers on your list is repeatedly unresponsive, continuing to email them could cause some email providers to start marking your emails as spam for all subscribers. Regularly check who isn’t opening and segment that group off your main list into a special reengagement list.

 

8. What would they do if I …

This is the most important question you can ask about your email subscribers, and it’s the one that data answers best. Testing — different segments, content, subject lines, frequency, send date, and so on — is the key to any successful long-term email strategy. So don’t be afraid to ask those big what ifs, take a chance, then let the data tell the story.

8 Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Email Subscribers

The post 8 Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Email Subscribers appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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10 Actionable Social Video Stats

We’re long past the time when video content was just the future of online marketing; the future is here and it’s bright. Video content is the present and the future of online marketing, no questions asked.

For brands, using video in social media platforms is not just an option, it’s a must. Video content is a meaningful part of the conversation, and brands that don’t leverage its power can get left behind really quickly.

But you don’t have to believe me. Let’s look at the facts: how is video content shaping social media interactions, and how can you act on that?

We’re going to look at ten statistics about social video and what you can do to make the most of them. Let’s start!

 

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound

The majority of Facebook audiences watch video without sound. This is because Facebook has built an environment in which there’s no need for the users to turn up the sound — but this doesn’t mean that consumers are less engaged!

In fact, brand lift doesn’t get affected by whether the user watches the video with or without sound, as long as you stay up to date and act towards your users habits; news feeds are now full of short videos that feature text or captions. The idea is to optimize your videos for Facebook: make it easy for people to consume the information without needing to turn the sound on.

So, take this into consideration, and always add subtitles to your videos on Facebook! Otherwise, it could just get lost between the 8 billion videos that get uploaded to Facebook each day.

 

65% of people who watch the first three seconds of a Facebook video will watch for at least 10 seconds, and 45% will watch for 30 seconds

It seems impossible to keep your audience’s attention, doesn’t it? So, nobody is shocked to learn that 10-30 seconds is all the attention you’ll get. But the job of an online marketer is to integrate this fact into your strategy.

 

This is why your Facebook videos shouldn’t be longer than a minute. Users like videos that they can quickly like or share before scrolling down to the next piece of content!

Also, keep the most important information at the beginning of the video. Your message must reach your audience, even if they just stay for the first 10 seconds of it.

 

93% of Twitter videos are watched on mobile

Videos are a powerful addition to the way your brand positions itself on Twitter. This is a social platform that has a majority of mobile users, so there’s no surprise that 93% of Twitter videos are watched on mobile devices. How can you take advantage of this?

Optimize your videos for mobile usage. This means, for example, using vertical videos. Vertical videos cater to your mobile users because you’ll be maximizing the viewing area in their mobile devices, without them having to rotate their screens.

Short and to the point is also important, given the ephemeral idiosyncrasy of Twitter’s timeline. And the subtitle and caption rule works here too.

 

Videos are 6X more likely to be retweeted than photos and 3X more likely than GIFs

Video is a type of content that spreads widely online, and that’s especially true on Twitter.

Twitter users like to engage with video content, as it’s the most shared media type in that platform. Not all kinds of videos get the best results anyway. To make sure that your video content will work, the best move you can make is to use native videos.

Native videos on Twitter will get you the most retweets and interaction. In fact, let’s take a  look at another statistic which says exactly that…

  • According to a study led by Twitter, native videos drive 2.5X replies, 2.8X retweets, and 1.9X more favorites than third party players

You see? This is because native videos provide the advantage of autoplay, and also because these videos become part of your media library, so they are easier to find for your audience.

 

 

Keep in mind that native Twitter videos can be anywhere from one to 140 seconds long, and videos less than 6.5 seconds long will loop automatically.

 

Despite more brands posting videos than ever before (13.2% of all posts), photos still see higher average engagement (at least on the timeline).

This statistic applies for Instagram, so let’s reflect on that for a minute. Instagram started being a platform used just for sharing pictures, and it’s just been fairly recently that they’ve rolled out new features involving video.

So, the trick with videos on Instagram is to use it in a smart way– the type of video content with the highest engagement rate is the one that creates a collective experience.

What does this mean? Top videos on Instagram are the ones that let the audience relive thrilling moments, or get an inside-look at things they wouldn’t normally see, like a behind-the-scenes take. To get the higher engagement, you can (and should!) use video on Instagram, but you should use it as a way to enhance your regular content.

Facebook, on the other hand…

 

A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a Facebook photo

Facebook video is one of the best ways to get your content out there (on this social network, and reach your audience effectively in this social network. Why? Because Facebook used to rely on photos so heavily, that it’s a type of content that’s almost taken for granted — and if your audience takes your content for granted, they won’t be paying attention. An overused type of content won’t be effective.

Video, on the other hand, is where the real growth point is. This format is far more effective at reaching audiences, so be sure to include them into your Facebook strategy and follow some of the tips we mentioned above.

In fact, Facebook will probably be all video by 2019!

 

Facebook Live Videos are watched 3x longer than regular videos

On another note, we’ve got Facebook Live Videos. By taking a look at this stat, all of us can definitely agree that Facebook Live videos are powerful.

This is a type of content that’s actually considered like a different type of media than regular videos. In fact, Facebook usually ranks Live Videos higher in the newsfeed, because they’re, of course, more interesting and engaging in the moment than after it has passed.

 

Facebook users comment 10X more on Live Videos than they do on regular videos

Not only are Facebook Live videos watched 3x longer than regular videos, but also Facebook users comment 10X more on Live videos than they do on regular videos so they should have an important place in your social media strategy.

Facebook Live videos are great for many purposes, like product launches, in which you get to build up expectations to the maximum before releasing a new product.

Also, customer interaction — starting a conversation with your audience is easy with Facebook Live, because of its instant comment feature. You could also use them with a behind-the-scenes approach, or for customer tutorials… The possibilities are endless.

 

YouTube has over a billion users, with hundreds of millions of hours watched daily and billions of views

Never underestimate the power of using YouTube as a “home base” for your video content! You should manage your YouTube channel wisely, and upload  great quality videos often.

Don’t forget to link your channel to your other media profiles! Remember, YouTube reaches more viewers in the 18 to 49-year-old demographic than any cable network in the US. Don’t lose the chance to attract these viewers to the rest of your content across different platforms.

Ranking high on YouTube searches is great to take advantage of the high traffic YouTube gets. And it’s not impossible to be the first result in a search!

 

In Summary…

 

Social video content is here to stay, and it’s time to jump on the bandwagon (if you haven’t done so already!).

It’s important to have high-quality video content. One that caters specifically to each of your social media platforms.

Look at the statistics, and learn about them — Using native video will always work better. Also, your videos must be optimized for mobile (because most of your audience will be looking from there!). And take advantage of the new, different features, like Live Videos!

What works better for your brand? Share it in the comments!

Actionable social video stats and how to act on them

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3 Tips for Embracing Mobile Technology Without Distraction

Ever had a craving for a chocolate bar? Silly question, I know. Who doesn’t have cravings for chocolate bars? Bear with me for a second, though. When that craving hits, and you’re standing in front of a vending machine or the counter at a gas station, trying to figure out which chocolate bar you want, do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice? Twix? Kit Kat? Snickers? Dare I say, all three? How’s a hungry chocolate lover supposed to decide? Sometimes, our increasingly mobile world feels similar to the chocolate bar craving scenario.

Pull out your phone when you’re at the kitchen table, on a bus or even at work, and you’ve got any number of distractions at your disposal.

Play one of the 30 games you’ve downloaded? Check email? Cruise your Facebook and Twitter feeds? Watch a cat video on YouTube? Take a picture and post to Instagram? Call a friend? (Wait, do people still do that?…just kidding!)

Having this many options seems like an exaggeration, but we all know the reality is there are way more distractions on your phone than only the ones mentioned.

And we haven’t even mentioned tablets, laptops, video games or TV yet…

For marketers and marketing teams – who need to work with technology but equally need to avoid getting distracted by it – the struggle is real. Imagine handling chocolate all day and trying not to eat it. A marketer’s job is pretty much the same thing. Minus the chocolate and the eating, of course.

It’s vital for busy marketers and marketing teams to efficiently stay up-to-date with an industry that’s in-flux every single day. With our rapidly evolving world in mind (and now also chocolate), here are three tips to help marketers embrace mobile technology without getting distracted.

 

1. Use different technologies and devices.

Like it or not, part of the modern marketer’s job is that of a technologist. The fact is marketers can’t do their job correctly if they don’t understand, or can’t use various technologies. Marketing is digital, and I’ve argued before that the term “digital marketing” is redundant.

The hardest part about marketing these days is that technologies are always changing. It’s a tough enough job keeping up with what’s already available to us, not to mention considering whatever is on the horizon next.

And to make it even more confusing, customers use different phones, tablets, and browsers, which means you can’t stay within the comfortable confines of the operating system you like best.

The more technologies, devices, and platforms you’re familiar with, the better you’ll understand your customers. And as any great marketer would tell you, knowing your customers and their likes, dislikes and tendencies is key to long-term success.

 

2. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

When using technology for work related research – as I outlined above – a good rule of thumb for remaining productive is to think like you are the customer. Put yourself right in the customer’s shoes and mirror their actions and experiences in using technology to engage with your brand’s digital properties.

The moment you find yourself laughing at an outrageous GIF, chasing whatever is trending on Twitter or anything other than what your customers would do, try to get back on track.

Remember, potential customers are usually doing one of the following:

  • Looking for information on a topic your brand is knowledgeable about
  • Looking for information on your products and services
  • Trying to get in touch with you for support
  • Purchasing your product or service

The most important fact about all of these actions is a customer can accomplish them on a phone, tablet, or computer. Your job as a marketer is to test any scenario you can think of, and then double check it on every platform.

Not only must the customer experience on each singular device run smoothly, but customers should have the ability to transition between devices without interruption.

It’s a lot, but it’s crucial that your brand keeps up with the ebb and flow of technology’s influence on the business world. The next time you get distracted by technology while acting as a would-be customer, just remind yourself how critical a seamless experience is to your brand’s bottom line.

 

3. Plan to adapt.

The ability to adjust to the evolving conditions of our technology driven world is one of the most important skills a marketer can have. Every day, technology changes the world, which then impacts how customers interact with the digital environment. By the time these changes are parsed by marketers, not only is the work they’ve just finished been compromised, but the next evolution is already underway.

There are only two ways to keep up: build room for adaptation into your projects or predict the changes. I prefer leaving room to pivot and adapt to new information, simply because when you make a prediction and act on it, you’re in a lot of trouble if you’re wrong.

Sometimes though, you just have to pull out your crystal ball and go out on a limb!

If you’re aware of how fast technology is driving the world forward, you’ll have a leg up on your competition. Even if you’re wrong, or you struggle to adapt on the fly, the fact that you’ve got an eye on the digital horizon is a great start.

What are some of the ways you embrace mobile technology without getting distracted? Do you make a point of using different devices and platforms, or do you rely on data to relate to customers? Leave a note if you have any other tips for marketers or marketing teams!

embrace mobile technology without distraction

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Are Your Pop-ups and Overlays Pushing Away Potential Customers?

People hate being interrupted. Whether they are in the middle of a sentence or in the midst of their favorite TV show, nobody enjoys being interrupted. Yet, it’s become a fairly common practice on some websites to interrupt people while they are browsing. This happens when a site has a pop-up or overlay that covers either part of or the entire page. This, in turn, forces a visitor to click something to make the interruption go away so they can return to reading whatever content they actually wanted or resume whatever they were doing.

Before we delve in, this isn’t a blatant condemning of overlays and pop-ups. They have a place and time on websites where they can be extremely useful. What this article will cover, though, are some of the worst practices and best practices for using them for your site.

 

Ruining your first impression

Visitors bouncing away from a website is already a problem that plagues many a business. It just takes a singular distraction or annoyance and people will leave a site. A site has to capture their visitor’s attention right away and not let it go for a single second, or risk losing them.

Yet, so many sites think that within the first few minutes, or even seconds, of being on their site, that they need to have a pop-up or overlay interrupt their experience. All people want to do is start or continue enjoying your content, but instead they have to now deal with your ad, typically for something they aren’t interested in.

It can be especially frustrating if the overlay slowly crawls down to cover the whole page, or forces you to take additional steps to make it go away. This not only pushes people off a site, it can also leave negative impressions of a website. Don’t repel your visitors with a jarring and obnoxious overlay.

 

How to fix it

Instead of having the overlay show up within a first few minutes and interrupting a visitor, give them time to enjoy your content. If somebody is going to bounce away in the first minute anyways, your overlay and pop-up isn’t going to be what keeps them. Instead, set your overlay to pop up after long enough for your visitors to enjoy your content or after they have scrolled down to a specific point on your page.

 

The same overlay on every page

It a pretty common goal, especially on a business’ website, to keep your visitors on your site as long as possible. You want them to move from page to page, moving down your marketing funnel and eventually making a purchase.

Yet, if your overlay happens on every single page, it becomes annoying. That constant interruption as a visitor tries to make it through your content is aggravating. Not only does that ruin impressions, it could lead to consumers not making a purchase with you, just because they are upset with the constant overlays.

 

How to fix it

Set up your site and overlays to not occur for people going to multiple pages on your site. If you have the capabilities, try to avoid giving the same offer over and over. Have multiple overlay offers that could work for different people, and try to match up the right offer to each persona you have.

If you must have multiple overlays on pages, it would also be beneficial to match up the overlay to what is happening on the page. For example, if a person is on a product or sales page, it’s likely they aren’t interested in your mid-funnel e-book. Instead, have an overlay or pop-up talking about your free demo or trial period for your product. Strong overlays give a specific offer your visitor wants, related to what page they were on.

 

Chat support

Having the ability to chat directly with a representative from a business is one wonderful addition to doing business online. It’s an instant tool to get answers to questions and concerns, and many websites benefit from having a chat box popping up on their site. Not only is it smart to address issues immediately, it builds your brand as a business who has great customer service.

It’s just important to know which pages can benefit from having a chat support box opening up on, and which ones it’s just a distraction on — especially if your chat box automatically opens and several messages are sent, possibly including notification sounds with each message. An unnecessary distraction at the wrong time can lead to losing your visitors.

It can also be annoying if that voice chat opens on every page you go to, even if it’s all part of the same session. These little annoyances can lead to people moving on from your site and finding another site with a more friendly UX.

 

How to fix it

Look through your analytics and see if you can determine what pages people are looking at when they interact with your chat. If there is a very low amount of chat support requests on things like blog articles or specific pages, maybe don’t have notifications for the chat go off on those pages. On the other side, if there are pages that result in a much higher use of the chat function, be sure your pop up is very visible without becoming obnoxious.

 

The last ditch effort

Another common use for overlays is that when a visitor’s mouse leaves the window or heads towards the close window button, an overlay pops up. Usually, this includes some sort of last-ditch attempt to get them to stay, or to at least get something out of their visit, like an email address.

The mentality of this is “they are already leaving the site, so there’s no harm in doing one last pitch to keep them around.” While this tactic isn’t the most offensive or off putting, it is commonly not employed very well. The visitor is already in the act of leaving, so any additional annoyance won’t have much effect. The only possible way you can make things worse is by giving out false promises or misleading your visitors in your overlay.

The major failing in most last-ditch effort overlays is what you are presenting. If a person is leaving your site after a few seconds, it’s likely they aren’t interested in your e-book or subscribing to your newsletter because your initial content wasn’t good enough.

 

How to do it

If you are going to do a last ditch effort, try to make it as personal as possible. Don’t just have one broad overlay anytime a person’s cursor heads off the page; customize them for specific pages. Think about why people might be leaving that page, and make your overlay something that might speak to them.

For example, if you are looking for an overlay on a blog article and have written similar content, your overlay could point them in that direction. This would be in case the article they clicked on didn’t have the information they were looking for, but maybe something else you’ve created does. This could also work on product pages for e-commerce sites, pointing visitors to similar products they sell.

 

Use research and data

As with any decision in marketing, get data to back up your choices. If you don’t have any data, perform A/B tests to get some. Don’t put up overlays just because some other marketer told you to — find out what benefits it can bring you. What worked for some other person might not work for your site. So many people jumped on the overlay and pop-up train, but haven’t thought through the impacts it can have. Perform marketing research yourself and then corroborate your findings with outside data.

Overlays and pop-ups need to work both from a UX and marketing point of view. You can have great content, but if the user experience on your site is terrible, it won’t matter. The opposite is true too. You can have an awesome experience, but it will just seem pointless without good content.

Proper and intelligent use of overlays can lead to lowering bounce rates and converting more visitors, but only if done right. Abusing your visitors with bad pop-ups and interrupting their experience can only hurt your site. Take time and find ways they can work with your site or whether you need to rework your current overlays.

 

Are your pop-ups and overlays pushing away potential customers?

The post Are Your Pop-ups and Overlays Pushing Away Potential Customers? appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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10 Unbeatable Marketing Conferences in the USA to Close Out 2017

There’s nothing quite like top-tier marketing conferences, and there’s no shortage of great ones taking place all the time across the USA. Though many of the year’s most memorable events have already concluded, there’s still much more to come — as evidenced by the 10 exciting events featured on this list.


These upcoming marketing conferences are all well worth your time, and it’ll surely be hard to
pick just one or two to attend. At each, you’ll find loads of opportunities to learn from industry leaders and pioneers, connect with fellow professionals, and grow your skills in all sorts of new directions. No matter your industry or level of experience, there’s something for you to enjoy at each of the high-quality events on this list.

 

The Fall Marketing Forum

Oct. 15-17, Scottsdale, AZ

Attend if: You’re a senior marketing executive who enjoys collaborative and active learning experiences in small groups.

Each iteration of the Marketing Forum is crafted based on client feedback from senior marketing professionals for a precisely tailored experience. The Fall 2017 program features a diverse range of world-class leaders — keynote speaker Arun Chaudhary served as official White House videographer for President Barack Obama as well as creative director for 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Each session at the forum is limited to 25 participants for an immersive, hands-on environment.

http://www.marketingforum.com

 

ResponseCon

Oct. 17-18, Boston, MA
Oct. 19-20, Denver, CO
Oct. 23-24, San Diego, CA
Oct. 25-26, Austin, TX

Attend if: Marketing automation is your bread & butter, and you want to learn from the pros.

ResponseCon is all about email marketing and marketing automation. You’ve got four opportunities to attend: Oct. 17-18 in Boston, MA, Oct. 19-20 in Denver, CO, Oct. 23-24 in San Diego, CA and Oct. 25-26 in Austin, TX. Be sure to catch featured speaker and CEO of Marketing Insider Group Michael Brenner, a content marketing legend whose lectures alone are worth the price of admission. Admission fees range from $99-$199, with a 30% discount currently available, and each date is projected to draw over 700 attendees.

https://www.getresponse.com/responsecon

 

Incite Group Brand Marketing Summit

Oct 24-25, New York, NY

Attend if: You’re looking for a brand-centric approach with a healthy roster of innovators.

Incite Group’s Brand Marketing Summit is all about marketing from a brand-centric perspective. The two-day schedule is jam-packed with lectures and seminars from high-level executives at Sony, Mastercard, Citi, Tough Mudder, Chobani and many other household names across a wide range of industries. Tickets range from $1,895 to $2,295, with 400 marketers in attendance.

http://www.incite-group.com/events/east/

 

Content Jam

Nov. 1-2, Chicago, IL

Attend if: You’re a content marketer or are looking to learn more about it.

As you might have guessed, Content Jam approaches content marketing from nearly every angle. Here, you’ll find speakers covering content creation, strategy, analytics, automation and more. Learn how to overcome confirmation bias from acclaimed CRO expert and closing keynote speaker Michael Aagaard. Pulling 300 attendees, Content Jam is Chicago’s largest content marketing conference. Tickets start at $549 and reach $849 for a complete package.

https://www.contentjam.com/

 

Dreamforce

Nov 6-9, San Francisco, CA

Attend if: You want to connect and grow with forward-thinking professionals.

Dreamforce is a conference centered around innovation and blown up to gargantuan proportions. Over 2,700 sessions are available for its 170,000 attendees to connect with each other while learning from industry experts. Topping this year’s list of featured speakers is former first lady Michelle Obama. Tickets for the full four-day event are available at $1,999 through October 31st.

https://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/

 

UnGagged

Nov 12-15, Las Vegas, NV

Attend if: You want exclusive access to industry leaders.

SEO and digital marketing are on the agenda at UnGagged, which prides itself on its no-censorship policy for its speakers. The 1:16 ratio of speakers to attendees promises exclusive access to leading minds at the event’s many networking events. Day-long masterclasses are held on the 12th, with the conference itself spanning the ensuing three days. Tickets are available for $795 until Oct. 10, at which point prices jump to $1,550. Masterclasses range from $399 to $699.

https://www.ungagged.com/vegas/

 

Internet Summit

Nov 14-16, Raleigh, NC

Attend if: You’re focused on digital storytelling as the way forward.

Internet Summit brings hundreds of attendees together with tech-minded thought leaders for an event as centered on networking as it is on education. With a speaking lineup featuring bestselling author Seth Godin as well as Mitch Lowe of Netflix and Mailchimp’s Melissa Metcalf, the event’s focus on digital disruption is clear. Tickets begin at $495 and range up to $1,195 for comprehensive VIP packages.

https://internetsummit.com/

 

Email Insider Summit

Dec. 3-6, Park City, UT

Attend if: You’re looking for more of a retreat-style experience — and you’ve got the budget for one.

The Email Insider Summit by MediaPost is a biannual event dedicated to the art of maximizing marketing ROI via email automation. Held at various luxury retreats, the event features panels, presentations and roundtables for a multifaceted approach to education. The 150 attendees can also enjoy an assortment of outdoor winter activities, including snowmobile tours, skiing and snowboarding. Packages begin at $3,895, with a membership discount, with additional fees for activities.

https://www.mediapost.com/emailinsidersummit/

 

Advocamp

Dec 6-8, San Francisco, CA

Attend if: You’re passionate about turning customer advocacy into competitive advantage.

Advocamp equips its attendees with the tools needed to convert their love for their customers into actionable marketing strategy. Learn how to optimize customer experience and engagement from leading experts including Namely’s Amy Rosenberg and Samantha Stone of the Marketing Advisory Network. This camp-style collaborative summit is poised to draw 1,000 attendees with advance tickets priced at $1,199.

http://www.advocamp.com

 

An Event Apart Denver: Special Edition

Dec 11-13, Denver, CO

Attend if: You’re ready to take your digital design chops and awareness to the next level.

Digital design and UX is the name of the game at An Event Apart. Whether you’re a designer or coder yourself, or a marketing professional seeking to learn more about how to optimize your customer experience, you’ll find plenty to learn from the 18 featured speakers, including Google Product Director Luke Wroblewski. Popular podcast User Defenders will also be recording a live episode on stage. Tickets are priced at $1,490, with a $100 discount available through Oct. 9th.

https://aneventapart.com/event/denver-2017

 

In conclusion

There are still plenty of great marketing conferences to attend this year if you have the available time and budget. Which one will you attend? Let us know in the comments!

 

unbeatable marketing conferences in the USA for the rest of 2017

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Webinar Recap: A/B Test Your Way to Email Success

We want to thank you all so much for registering and attending our webinar about effective communications and A/B testing yesterday! We had a great group of attendees who asked some awesome questions. And here’s a chance for us to answer the most frequent ones.

A/B Testing

The A/B testing feature in email is a way to let you send two slightly different emails to your audience. You can then see which version generated more engagement and then send the most effective email to the rest of your list.

Before you begin, it might be helpful to review some guidelines for effective A/B testing.

  1. Only conduct one test at a time. If you test an email campaign that directs people to a landing page at the same time that you’re A/B testing that landing page, your results can get muddled pretty easily. How will you know which change caused the increase in leads?
  2. Test one variable at a time. In order to evaluate how effective an element of your page is, you have to isolate that variable in your A/B test. Only test one element at a time – so either an email, or the landing page you’re sending your audience to.
  3. Test minor changes, too. Although it’s reasonable to think that big, sweeping changes can increase your click numbers, the small details are often just as important. While creating your tests, remember that even a simple change, say, switching an image in your email, or using a different subject line, can drive big improvements. In fact, these sorts of changes are usually easier to measure than the bigger ones.
  4. You can A/B test the entire element. While you can certainly test a button color or a background shade, you should also consider making your entire email a variable. Instead of testing single design elements, such as headlines, subject lines, and images, design two completely different emails and test them against each other. Now you’re working on a higher level. This type of testing yields the biggest improvements, so consider starting with it before you continue your optimization with smaller tweaks.
  5. Measure as far down the funnel as possible. Sure, your A/B test might have a positive impact on your email click rate, but how about your sales numbers? A/B testing can have a significant effect on your bottom line. You may even see that an email with fewer clicks produced more sales. As you create your A/B test, consider how it affects metrics such as open rates or click rates that will contribute to you achieving your KPIs.
  6. Decide what you want to test. As you optimize your email, there are a number of variables you can test. You don’t have to limit yourself to testing only images or text size. Look at the various elements on your marketing resources and their possible alternatives for design, wording, or layout. In fact, some of the areas you can test might not be instantly recognizable. For instance, you can test different subject lines, senders, or ways to personalize the message.
  7. Split your sample group randomly. In order to achieve conclusive results, you need to test with two or more audiences that are equal. At GetResponse, we automatically split traffic to your variations so that each variation gets a random sampling of visitors.

 

Segmenting your audience

Marketers know that segmenting email marketing lists can improve open and click-through rates. That said, figuring out the best way to segment your email marketing lists can be a huge undertaking.

To make it a little less overwhelming, here are a few quick ways to get you on the right segmentation track.

 

1. Demographics

The first way many marketers begin email marketing segmentation is by using demographic data. Information such as age, gender, company position, and income level can say a lot about a person’s needs and interests.

The more information you can get about your audience in the signup process, the more options you’ll have for demographic segmentation. Be careful with this, though, because asking for too much information can scare people off from signing up at all.

 

2. Email engagement

Email engagement is another very basic way to segment your list that can have a huge impact on your overall results. Open rate and click rate are the main metrics here that you keep track of in your email marketing service.

You can segment by engagement by designating active vs. inactive users, such as someone who hasn’t opened your emails in three months. You can then create a specialized campaign designed at re-engaging your inactive subscribers. This is perfect for those of you who take off with little subscriber data.

 

3. Geolocation

There are a lot of different ways to use geographic location data, making segmentation by geographic area a valuable tool – especially for businesses where location greatly influences purchasing decisions, or the availability of offers.

 

4. Website visits

 

Keeping track of website behavior is another simple way to get more information about visitors’ interests. For example, you can send targeted emails based on the specific pages they visited – but that’s far from the only option. You can set up goals at GetResponse and segment your audience according to:

  • pages people visited
  • pages they didn’t visit
  • people who visited one page but missed another related page
  • what videos they watched (and how long they watched them), or what content they read

 

Newsletter optimization sessions:

Whenever you send a newsletter, always try to keep in mind your what your goals are, what you’d like your audience to do, and who your targeted audience actually is. As to improving the readability and reach of your emails, make sure you remember about:

  1. familiarity – always follow your brand’s voice and scent
  2. sleek, simple designs – keep a clear header hierarchy, don’t use multiple font types, if you don’t need to
  3. less is more – focus your email around one, clear call to action to shorten your contact’s path to conversion. Even if you’re just sending informational newsletters.

 

Conclusion:

A/B tests and segmentation are great ways to drive your audience’s engagement and literally achieve more with email marketing. However, I know not all of you may have the time to do it all, among your daily marketing activities. Trust me, working with email right now I may be a little spoiled, but I wore many, many marketing hats before. And I know finding the time for it is not always easy. So start small and most of all – keep trying. Don’t be afraid to change the ways you communicate with your audience.

A/B Test Your Way to Success

The post Webinar Recap: A/B Test Your Way to Email Success appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Social, the Ecommerce Multiplier

Email, SEO, PPC and web design are all different tools that are used in ecommerce, and all provide different functions. Social media is another tool for digital marketers – but it’s a very special tool. It does what it does very well. It helps grow audiences, build brand awareness, extends reach and is a cost-effective method of conversion.

What makes it special is that it helps other forms of ecommerce improve while still doing the job you’re using it for. Social media marketing can help make your email, PPC, SEO and even website design better. Most importantly, it can grow your business. It does this in two ways. Firstly, it can enhance your existing ecommerce marketing to get more customers. Secondly, it can pick up customers that you might otherwise have lost through retargeting.

 

1. How social enhances ecommerce

 

Email + Social Media

Email is the backbone of ecommerce. It’s where transactions on the Internet started, and it’s still where a lot of digital communication takes place. As it has been going for 30 years now, long standing companies have built up large databases of customer emails, and these can be imported into Facebook to create your audience. Using Facebook Insights and other tools, you can then find lookalike audiences who you can target with ads.

These targeted audiences are much more likely to like your business, as they already share the same tastes as your returning customer base.  Social media can also be used to populate your email database. If you give an exclusive special offer, or give something like a free eBook if they give their email address – then you can build up your email list.

Social media also works best when it’s brief and engaging. If you write a post on Facebook or Twitter, it’s generally recommended that you keep between 80 and 100 characters. That’s great practice for writing great email titles and an engaging first sentence that will show up in the inbox and entice people to open and engage with your email. Emoji are effective too!

 

SEO + social media

Social media is extremely useful for SEO. One of the ways that you can improve your SERPs is by creating backlinks to other sites. Every social signal – something like a tweet or a share of content you have on your social media – may contribute towards your SERPS. That means the better your social content is, and the more times it’s shared, the better your SEO ranking. Companies that have an active social media presence generally have better SERPs.

If you use blogs as a way to generate backlinks, they can also be used as content in your social feed. As well as the backlinks generated through the blogs, you get the multiplying effect of social media drawing people to that content – and if it’s good enough, sharing it and generating even more of an SEO boost.

You can also use different approaches on different social media platforms to promote your content from different angles. A B2B article is likely to get a lot more interest on a social media site like LinkedIn – whereas a fun blog for ‘10 unexpected benefits of [your business]’ might play better on Facebook. Remember to keep the blog tied in with your core values.

Those  who are practiced in SEO know the value of using keywords and being concise. Those skills are directly transferrable to social media. They are important because they give your social copy purpose and relevance, and even more so if they are to be the basis for backlink generation that will effectively increase your SERP.

 

Want to sell more products? Learn how with our Essential Guide to Marketing Automation for Ecommerce.

 

PPC + social media

The point of pay per click advertising is to get your website above the top of a standard SEO list of pages. In terms of content, you have to be laser focused on getting your message out as quickly as possible. Unsurprisingly, tactics like special offers and money off that work well in PPC also work well in Facebook and other social media – but they work together too.

A PPC link will drive people to the website’s landing page. On that landing page, you can also have links to your social media. If you have a strong social media following, you can also embed that social media within your website – so that people can instantly see the interaction you have with your audience, and the recommendations that come from real people. It will make them more likely to trust the site and take the next step. It also means that PPC can drive people to a website, but also drive them to social media.

 

2. Retargeting and remarketing

 

Getting more customers with social media

Once social media, email, SEO and PPC has helped you get more customers or email inquiries, you can use your email list alongside social media like Facebook to find brand new audiences. You can import your email list into a custom audience. Using that you can remarket to people on that list through Facebook ads.

The other benefit is that you can create lookalike audiences from that custom audience. These are people who have similar interests and demographic markers as people who have already bought from you. This means that they are much more likely to convert than people who are targeted on broad demographic lines.

 

Retargeting

Usually in a sales funnel, you expect to lose audience members at each stage. Not everyone in the total audience you approach will be attracted to your product, less will be interested, even less will make the decision to interact and fewer still will turn that decision into an action to convert.

But there’s something else you can put on your landing page. A Facebook Pixel (other pixels are available). That’s a small piece of code which can track people once they’ve visited your site. If you ever wondered how Amazon targeted you with ads after you looked at a product on their site – now you know how.

Attraction, Interest, Decision, Action: AIDA. We all know the funnel. Using a pixel, customers who would otherwise have been lost can be retargeted. A customer who showed interest by visiting a website has already made their way along part of the customer journey. The pixel can track this, and give them another piece of contact design to move them down the sales funnel.

Retargeting is more successful at converting than regular targeting, as once someone has interacted with your company once, then they are more likely to interact with you again. Using Ad Manager, you can automate retargeting based on the interaction people have had with the website. If they haven’t clicked through, you can give them an incentive to click through.

If they have been on the website, you can show them some pictures of products they might like to get them to interact further. If they have looked at a certain product and backed out – you can give them a time sensitive special offer. The further down the funnel the people go, the more successful the conversion rate of retargeting is. The differing messages also mean the customers don’t suffer from ad fatigue.

  

Social, the ecommerce multiplier

People go online to solve a problem or be entertained. The old tools of ecommerce are still effective at solving people’s problems online. If someone searches for something they need, SEO and PPC are still going to be effective at getting people’s attention. What they are not as good as are being proactive – of getting their business out there to people who might need it – not those that already do.

Social media is very good at meeting people where their attention already is. On the devices where their attention already is. If the content is good, it can speak to them directly in a language they understand and appreciate. That building of trust and brand awareness is great for growing a company – and it supports the other tools of ecommerce. It builds email lists, it strengthens SEO and it makes PPC more effective. Social media isn’t a competitor for ecommerce – it’s a supercharger.

By the same token, people who have excellent social media followings, but poor PPC, SEO and email strategies will not be getting the most out of their digital marketing. This engine works best when it’s firing on all cylinders. Making all these moving parts work together may seem complicated – people don’t often think of things like consistency of tone, message and design language across email, social and websites – but when these things are in place, the customers can tell. The customers respond. The customers will help you grow your business.

 

social media, the ecommerce multiplier

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