Monday, May 29, 2017

Essential Techniques the World’s Largest Corporations Use to Keep Their Marketing Automation Campaigns Humming Along

Did you know that there are 11 times more B2B organizations using marketing automation today than there were in 2011? It’s true. As surprising as that statistic might be, in other ways, it’s not hard to believe. After all, marketing automation works, so a lot of corporations are jumping on board.

Take Oracle as an example. They used marketing automation to shorten the time it took to send a lead to their sales team by several days. Initially, it took them five days to pass a lead along to sales, but after implementing a marketing automation platform, they were able to pass leads on in a matter of hours.

That technique – passing a lead along to sales in a matter of hours – can be a game changer. A study out of Harvard, which involved 1.25 million sales leads from 29 B2C and 13 B2B companies, showed firms that contacted leads within an hour were nearly 7 times more likely to have a conversation with a decision maker than those that tried to contact the lead after more than one hour.

The same study found that the fast-moving companies were more than 60 times as likely to reach decision makers as companies that waited 24 hours or longer. Imagine getting 60 times better results from your campaigns simply because you didn’t wait 24 hours to respond to a lead!

Based on that (and other research), it’s safe to say that marketing automation is catching on big time. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the techniques larger corporations are using to keep their marketing automation campaigns humming along.


Understand the 9 stages of subscriber engagement

Your prospects go through 9 distinct stages when they engage with your brand. Those stages are outlined on this infographic on the GetResponse website. For those of you whose index fingers don’t feel like clicking the mouse, we’ve included the 9 stages in the list below:

  1. Planning
  2. Awareness
  3. Consideration
  4. Familiarity
  5. Intent
  6. Evaluation
  7. Conversion
  8. Relations
  9. Loyalty and Advocacy

You’ll notice that two of those stages happen after your prospects convert into customers. Many companies overlook that nuance, but given the fact that people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand that has been recommended by a friend, stages 8 and 9 are extremely important because they lead to word-of-mouth advertising for your business.

Are you leveraging stages 8 and 9 for your company? If not, you might be missing out on incremental revenue for your business.


Re-engage with inactive users

It happens to all of us. People subscribe to your e-newsletter and click through on all the right links. They’re deeply engaged with your brand and gradually move down the sales funnel. You tag them as a warm lead, then a hot lead. And then … nothing. They go quiet.

It’s enough to drive you crazy, but there’s some good news – there’s a tried and true technique you can use to re-engage inactive users. Start by creating a segment of people in your database who haven’t engaged with your brand in, say, 6 months or more. Then, send an exclusive offer or discount to those people to re-engage them with your brand. This will help restore the inactive leads and will also help you generate incremental revenue that you thought might have been lost.

Pro tip: There will still be some people in your segment who don’t respond despite your special offer. Consider deleting them from your database – if you have too many people in your database who aren’t engaged with your brand, it makes the database look spammy to email whitelist companies.


Upsell, cross-sell and cycle-sell

Are you upselling, cross-selling and cycle-selling? If not, you may be missing out on opportunities to grow your sales and revenues with marketing automation.

The easiest way to understand the difference between these three techniques is to think of a car sale. If the sales person wants to upsell, they say “Rather than buying the two-door, why don’t you buy the four-door instead?” If the sales person wants to cross-sell, they say, “Would you like to include a trailer hitch with the purchase of your new car?” And if the sales person wants to cycle-sell, they say, “It’s been 6 years since you bought your last car. It’s probably time for a new one. Would you like to discuss some of our low-cost financing options?”

These three techniques – upsell, cross-sell and cycle-sell – are used quite frequently by companies that leverage the power of marketing automation. Are you using the upsell, cross-sell and cycle-sell techniques? If not, it might be time to explore some of them for your company.


Putting it all into action

These are just some of the tips and techniques the world’s largest brands are using to improve the results of their marketing automation campaigns. What are some of the techniques you’ve used? If you have some ideas that our community should hear about, let us know in the comments section below.

The post Essential Techniques the World’s Largest Corporations Use to Keep Their Marketing Automation Campaigns Humming Along appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Online Marketing Tips.

The Customer is Always Right: Listen and Build Your Brand

What’s the best way to learn what people really think about you? Find out what they say when you’re out of the room. This is one of the best – but least understood – ways in which social media can help you to make your business better.

Embrace criticism

For many business owners, the rise of Twitter and other social media sites fills them with a certain kind of dread. They know they should be doing something but aren’t exactly sure what – worse still negative feedback can be damaging. If a customer has bad service they can moan about it for the whole world to see. Some have seen their business drop off a cliff because of a few bad reviews.

Rather than see this as a danger, though, you can also see it as an opportunity. Monitoring mentions of you on social media is a great way to assess brand performance and work out ways in which you can improve. If you handle it the right way a bad review also needn’t be the PR nightmare you’re dreading. In fact, it can boost your image.

For example, let’s imagine a customer has spent ages trying to order something online without luck. We’ve all had those moments – spending ages filling out forms, correcting errors only to be told that the system has crashed.

It’s frustrating, makes us hate the brand, and most importantly stops us buying. In a matter of minutes, it’s turned a potential customer into a PR headache.

But that can be a good thing. Businesses lose a huge amount of money every year because customers bail out of the online ordering process. Every additional step, every glitch creates higher bounce rates.

That enraged customer has actually done you a great favour. He’s told you about a glaring problem in your business process – one which could be costing you thousands in revenue. If that one customer is having a problem, it’s a good bet that others are also.

Of course, your analytics should have already told you that something is up. An unexpectedly high bounce rate in the buying process will tell you that something is going wrong, but what this can’t do is tell you why. As a leading digital marketing agency, we’ve been in countless meetings where a client is telling us that they have a high bounce rate on a certain page, but they’re not sure why or how to put it right. Of course, you can use your own expertise, and that of an internal SEO team to offer some insights, but it’s not as good as finding out straight from the customer themselves.


Speak to your customers

So that’s what you do. Contact the customer and find out what went wrong and how to put it right. The chances are, they’ll be more than happy to help you because it’s in their best interests. They want to use your product and they want it to work well. Better still, that interaction will often be public so, although the complaint is there for all to see, so too is the resolution.

Engaging, then, is a great way to extinguish a potential PR fire and also to learn crucial things about your own business in the process. It works across all areas and can be a great way to learn how your brand is perceived, or how a new product is working.

For example, remember when the US giant Kraft bought Cadbury’s. There was an outcry online of people worried a firm best known for manufacturing cheese strings and something called ‘pink slime’ would ruin the quality of our country’s favorite chocolate brand. That in itself should have told the people at Kraft that they had a problem with their own branding, and that they shouldn’t under any circumstances, do something to mess with the quality of the product.

They didn’t listen. Soon afterwards, they announced that they were changing the chocolate mix from the premium type – as used in their Dairy Milk bars, to something more basic and less appealing. The reaction was quick, sudden and angry. Sales fell. A year after their move, sales of Crème Eggs had declined by £6million.

It’s a hit the company needn’t have sustained had they properly listened to what people were saying about them online. It would have told them the move would be unpopular, it would hit sales and harm their brand reputation. They did it anyway.

Others did listen. GAP’s decision to change their logo in 2010 met with a furious response online which told them two things: people hated the new design, and there was nothing wrong with the old one. They listened and before long the old branding was back.

The lesson to learn from this story is that there are many things about your business which could probably work better. Your customers can help you find this out, but conventional forms of customer feedback will not always highlight this. People tend to be politer about a business when they are talking to a representative. The really good feedback is to be found when you turn your back.

the customer is always right

The post The Customer is Always Right: Listen and Build Your Brand appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Online Marketing Tips.

Friday, May 26, 2017



Google AdWords Launches Greater Visibility Into Quality Score Components (And What This Means For You)

A recent update to Google AdWords is changing the way performance marketers understand their landing pages’ Quality Scores. Image via Shutterstock.

While Quality Score is a critical factor in your ad performance, it’s always been a bit of a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Marketers have never been able to natively view changes to Quality Score components in AdWords directly. That is — even though expected click through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience scores are the elements contributing to your Quality Score, you haven’t been able to see these individual scores at scale (or for given timeframes) within your AdWords account, or export them into Excel.

Which is why, up until now, some especially savvy marketers have had to improvise workarounds, using third-party scripts to take daily snapshots of Quality Score to have some semblance of historical record — and a better-informed idea as to changes in performance.

Fortunately, an AdWords reporting improvement has brought new visibility into Quality Score components that could help you diagnose some real wins with your ads and corresponding landing pages.

What’s different now?

As you may have already noticed, there are now seven new columns added to your menu of Quality Score metrics including three optional status columns:

  • Expected CTR
  • Ad Relevance and
  • Landing Page Experience

And four revealing historical keyword quality:

  • Quality Score (hist.)
  • Landing Page Experience (hist.)
  • Ad Relevance (hist.)
  • Expected Click Through Rate (hist.)
what's new
Image courtesy of Google’s Inside AdWords blog

This is not new data per se (it’s been around in a different, less accessible form), but as of this month you can now see everything in one spot and understand when certain changes to Quality Score have occurred.

So how can you take advantage?

There are two main ways you can use this AdWords improvement to your advantage as a performance marketer:

1. Now you can see whether your landing page changes are positively influencing Quality Score

Now, after you make changes to a landing page — you can use AdWords’ newest reporting improvement to see if you have affected the landing page experience portion of your Quality Score over time.

This gives you a chance to prove certain things are true about the performance of your landing pages, whereas before you may have had to use gut instinct about whether a given change to a landing page was affecting overall Quality Score (or whether it was a change to the ad, for example).

As Blaize Bolton, Team Strategist at Performance Marketing Agency Thrive Digital told me:

As agency marketers, we don’t like to assume things based on the nature of our jobs. We can now pinpoint changes to Quality Score to a certain day, which is actual proof of improvement. To show this to a client is a big deal.

Overall, if your CPC drops, now you can better understand whether it may be because of changes made to a landing page.

2. You can identify which keywords can benefit most from an updated landing page

Prior to this AdWords update, ad relevancy, expected click through rate and landing page relevancy data existed, but you had to mouse over each keyword to get this data to pop up on a keyword-by-keyword basis. Because you couldn’t analyze the data at scale, you couldn’t prioritize your biggest opportunities for improvement.

Hovering over individual keywords
Image courtesy of Brad Geddes and Search Engine Land

However, now that you can export this data historically (for dates later than January 22, 2016), you can do a deep dive into your campaigns and identify where a better, more relevant landing page could really help.

You can now pull every keyword in your AdWords account — broken out by campaign — and identify any underperforming landing pages.

An Excel Quality Score Deep Dive
Now, an Excel deep dive into your AdWords campaigns can help you reveal landing page weaknesses.

Specifically, here’s what Thrive Digital’s Managing Director Ross McGowan recommends:

You can break down which of your landing pages are above average, or those that require tweaking. For example, you might index your campaigns by the status AdWords provides, assigning anything “Above Average” as 3, “Average” as 2 and “Below Average” as 1. You can then find a weighted average for each campaign or ad group and make a call on what to focus on from there.

What should you do when you notice a low landing page experience score?

As Google states, landing page experience score is an indication of how useful the search engine believes your landing page is to those who click on your ad. They recommend to, “make sure your landing page is clear and useful… and that it is related to your keyword and what customers are searching for.”

In short, it’s very important that your landing pages are highly relevant to your ad. Sending traffic to generic pages on your website may not cut it. Moreover, once you are noticing low landing page engagement scores, it’s time to try optimizing these pages with some quick wins.

In the words of Thrive’s Ross McGowan:

Figure out what a user wants, and do everything you can to tailor the on-page experience to them. Whether that be [using] Dynamic Text Replacement, A/B testing elements to get the best user experience, or spending less time on technical issues and more on writing great content.

Finally, for more on AdWords’ latest improvements, AdAlysis founder Brad Geddes has written a great article on Search Engine Land. His company had enough data on hand to attempt a reverse-engineer of the formula for Quality Score to get a sense of how changes to one of the QS components would impact overall score. His recommendation is much the same as Ross’, in that, if a landing page’s score is particularly low, your best bet is to focus on increasing user’s interaction with the page.

Want to optimize your landing pages?

Original Source: Google AdWords Launches Greater Visibility Into Quality Score Components (And What This Means For You)