Is a 4000%+ Email Marketing ROI Good Enough for You?

Published by: Erica Sanford    |   Category: Blog, Mobile Email, Optimization    

Email Marketing ROI

Look no further than email marketing to find the answer to what will generate a 4000%+ ROI (Return on Investment). Hands down, email marketing is the most cost effective and efficient marketing channel at your disposal. So you ask yourself, “Why aren’t I making a 4000% ROI on my email campaigns”? The answer is simple, mobile. That’s right mobile – a smartphone is killing your chances of garnering the huge ROI numbers you should.

Let’s look at what you’re doing wrong or not doing at all.

Consider these statistics; 58% of all US adults own a smartphone.

Here’s the breakdown by age groups:

  • 18-29     83%
  • 30-49     74%
  • 50-64     49%
  • 65+         19%

Now consider that 66% of emails are opened on mobile devices and of that, 38% are opened on an iPhone. More people open their email on an iPhone versus a PC as a whole, which is 34%. Personal and business lives are melding together into one device and everyone, including your competitors, are competing for attention.

Optimizing your emails for mobile devices is a sure way to get ahead of the curve with studies showing that only 11% of emails are optimized for mobile. Lack of mobile optimization is stopping you from converting readers into leads and leads into sales.

While 69% of smartphone users will quickly delete an email that is not optimized for mobile, 61% of smartphone users will immediately leave a website that is not mobile friendly. An email marketing campaign is only as successful as the revenue it generates.

The 5 most relevant and important steps to take moving forward are:

  1. Design for mobile users. Ensure you design your email creatives to be responsive.
  2. The majority of mobile email clients, including the iPhone’s native mail application, have images enabled by default. Can a user go into their settings and turn them off? Sure, but most people don’t take the time or extra step to do so.
  3. Make sure your call to action is clear and in their face. Make it a bold, obvious statement. This is an important step and not just for mobile email campaigns.
  4. Make sure your unsubscribe link is not to close to your call to action. Making this critical error can cause your loyal customer to opt-out.
  5. Ensure the email addresses in your list are valid and deliverable. Sending to dead or undeliverable email addresses is nothing more than a waste of time and can irreparably damage your IP reputation. Be sure to clean and validate your email list at least twice per year.

The best advice I can give is test your email creatives to your own smartphone. Be sure it is appearing correctly and displaying properly on both iPhone and Android devices. After you have tested your responsive email design and you are sure it looks right and displays properly, then and only then you can deploy it to your newsletter or customer list. If you have followed these basic steps, you should see a big jump in your open and click rate as well as conversions and ROI.

 

 

The Dangers of Big Business Marketing For Small Business Owners

Published by: Meredith Thornton    |   Category: Blog, Business, Email Marketing, Optimization    

 

Small Business MarketingBy nature, we all look up to and admire our successors. As we are constantly reminded of history’s tendency to repeat itself, we pay particular attention to the actions of our country’s great leaders in an effort to avoid unforeseen failures and mimic their success. What we hope to get out of this arrangement is obvious – we want to reap the benefits of being just as good (if not better) than those who have preceded us. We can blame this on Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection, in which only the strong survive and the weak are left choking on the dust left behind. Not all of us are going to embark on Robert Frost’s “road less traveled.” In fact, the majority of us are going to follow the yellow brick road until we reach our final destination.

I am not saying that imitating the strategies and decisions made by your successors is always a poor decision. Why wouldn’t you capitalize on proven strategies that have worked in the past?

However, in a business setting, you must always keep in mind that utilizing these “winning” tactics of successful entrepreneurs won’t always pan out in your favor. It can actually lead to your demise.

For instance, if you’re a struggling small business owner, I bet you’re too busy studying the marketing plans of Coca Cola or Apple to focus on the strategies that will work for you. Huge firms with highly-recognizable brand names have the ability to spend their seemingly unlimited marketing budget on costly marketing vehicles (television, billboards, print, etc.) to satisfy their goals of keeping their brand name alive.

Hats off to you if you think you can compete with the deep pockets and brand recognition of the major players of the game. It’s like trying to pick a fight with a bouncer on steroids. For those of you who know you don’t stand a chance competing on the same turf as our industry leaders, you have the opportunity to explore other marketing channels that are effective in introducing a new product or service to market and gaining mass exposure without having to wipe out your life savings in the process.

Large enterprises follow comparable sales models and advertise their message through similar marketing channels for a reason – because it works for the hierarchical structure that’s characteristic of all world-renowned companies. As small business marketers, you are not bound by the corporate structure and the overwhelming number of rules and regulations that tend to curb creative expression. You have the free will to promote your brand using any advertising medium you see fit to generate the highest return using limited resources.

Related: Which Marketing Platform Is Right For Your Business?

If you have a few minutes to read the related article, it quickly recaps the advantages of email marketing over other mainstream (yet costly) marketing platforms. Email has infiltrated lives of business professionals to the point of market saturation. In fact, if you don’t have an email address, people will start to look at you funny. To stay up-to-date on current email marketing trends, take a look at these 25 Interesting Email Marketing Statistics for 2013.

How can email marketing expand your small business?

With email now the “go-to” mode of communication between business professionals, you acknowledge its widespread appeal and it’s effectiveness in sending messages to your intended recipients. Having the ability to send your personalized advertisement to hundreds of thousands of users across the globe through large-scale email marketing, you effectively cut through the advertising clutter on the Internet and deliver your intended message straight to the source. By simply adding a landing page link within the image or the body copy of your email, you can easily capture leads directly on your website and continuously grow your email database. Also, unique real-time tracking capabilities enable you to sit back and relax while you watch your open and click-through rate rise and start to gain momentum.

Possession of a healthy email database is a goldmine in small business development. Effective communication with the leads captured on your website will lead to online sales and eventually, a loyal customer base – the cornerstone of success.

Business failure can be a hard pill to swallow. Don’t simply ride on the coattails of success without setting yourself up for disappointment. Rather, take your own path to business growth using one of the most revenue-generating platforms available.

Still unsure of how you can benefit from email marketing? Email Answers can help guide your way.  Contact us today to determine how email marketing can be tailored to your specific business goals.

 

Landing Page Optimization in 8 Easy Steps

Published by: Meredith Thornton    |   Category: Blog, Landing Pages, Optimization    

 

In your pursuit to build a positive online brand reputation, your landing page and overall website are critical to marketing success. Whether you are active in SEO and organic search engine marketing, email marketing, or PPC campaigns, landing page optimization is mission critical. However, keeping your website up to speed often becomes an item that sits on the back burner, jeopardizing your conversion ratio and campaign performance.

In most cases, a complete transformation of your website is not necessary. You will be amazed at what a few tweaks and quick fixes can do to improve your website for lead generation. Below is a comparison of a text only landing page versus an Infographic landing page. We are currently testing both landing pages for SEO, SEM, PPC and comparing conversion rates on both to see which converts better.

Landing Page Design

    You can view the live text landing page here and the live Infographic landing page here

1. Explain who you are and what you do. Do you have an “About Us” page that accurately depicts who you are in a nutshell? Oftentimes, important company and product information is buried within other unrelated pages when it should be showcased on it’s own page. Having a substantial overview of what your company is about and how you differentiate yourself from your competition is critical to building rapport and a sense of trust with potential new leads prior to converting them to sales. Your website is the first consumer touch-point to your brand, so it is important to make a compelling first impression.

2. Create an easily-navigable web interface. If your visitor finds it difficult to navigate your website to retrieve the information they have requested, they won’t waste their time, and you can kiss their potential business goodbye. Each webpage needs a user-friendly navigation toolbar at both the top and bottom, or on the side of the page to direct your visitors to the appropriate location. Also, it is crucial to avoid dead links at all costs. Make sure that all links work properly and lead the user to the correct page.

3. Offer a value-added opportunity. In email marketing, the email creative acts as a teaser to drive traffic to your website. If your landing page is simply a duplication of the promotional email, you are offering your potential consumers nothing of value. When users click through to your website, they have indicated an interest in your offer and seek additional information to influence their buying agenda. When they fail to find what they are looking for, your website is not doing an accurate job of converting traffic into sales.

4. Avoid a search-based landing page at all costs. Instead of directing the recipients of your email promotion to an informational landing page, an advertiser will, at times, choose to direct its prospects to a “search engine” type landing page. By doing so, you are adding an additional step to the process, and users will be more inclined to drop off right then and there. If you want to capture viewer attention for an extended period of time, you must make it as easy as possible for them to get where they need to be.

5. Include one or more call to action. Does your landing page do an accurate job of calling the viewer to action? Is your newsletter sign-up form displayed on every page? Is it clear and easy for visitors to purchase your products or services? Is there a number of methods for interested buyers to contact you with questions if needed? In an effort to encourage sign-ups and sales, your calls to action must be above the fold to increase visibility and effectiveness. The website should be designed in a manner that effectively funnels the viewers through the content and convert.

6. Keep it simple. A quick browse of landing pages on the internet may introduce you to those that are miles long in content, those with flashing lights and animated images, or those that seem to explode with different colors and font selections. In this day and age when people demand information in an instant, your goal should be to deliver short tidbits of information to make it easier for users to digest and act upon. Top it off with the addition of clear and crisp headlines and value propositions, and you have effectively created a sense of structure. While special effects and crazy graphics may appeal to online gamers and graphic designers, they detract from your message. Also, keep in mind that not every computer runs the latest apps and browsers, and many of them are not up to date. Many users do not have every program needed which prevents certain programs from running. Your layout and design must be simple without compromising on quality.

7. Add new content. It’s important to get across the idea that your brand is fresh and continually improving over time. There is no better way to do so than to continually add new blog posts, press releases, and/or case studies to your website to educate your audience on industry trends and market statistics. Posting new content on your own site as well as other article directories and forums out there will generate backlinks and generate traffic to your site, positively affecting your SEO strategy and organic search engine rankings.

To further understand how to optimize your SEO efforts, refer to a recently published blog article, “Unmasking the BIG Secrets of SEO.”

8. Test different landing pages and track results. You will get nowhere without integrating a tracking tool for your website and monitoring results over time. There is simply no other way to determine whether the implemented changes had an effect on conversion ratio. With a tracking system in place, you have the ability to determine where individuals are dropping off. Also, you may consider creating multiple landing pages to see which results in the highest ROI. This is referred to as A/B split testing. Depending on your product or service, you may draw in more visitors with a text-only landing page, an info graphic, or a video. Testing all three versions will help you familiarize yourself with the likes and buying patterns of your target demographic.

Landing pages are a moving target. The reason for this is that your audience is constantly changing and evolving, and your website must change right alongside it. One of the most time-consuming aspects of any business is its search for new leads and customers. With an effective website in place, you are making it easier for prospects to find you. Don’t be afraid of change. Sometimes making small changes or a complete, major redesign of your landing page will pay off in the long run by generating more leads, sales and interest in your company.