Marketing Archives - Steven's Homestead

Contact Page – Goodbye!

So I used to have a contact page on my website. I thought it would be a simple way for people to contact me instead of needing to rely on having my resume or social media channels (Twitter or LinkedIn) to reach out.  You may be asking yourself why I decided to remove the Contact Page from my site. I hope after reading this post, you will agree that it was something that needed to happen.

Why I got rid of my Contact Page

A few months ago, okay about a year ago really, I decided to update my website to run on this slick new theme. I wanted to showcase my photography and work experience. In addition, I wanted to have a place to blog when the need to write even more got under my skin. When I built this site, I decided to have a contact page so that people interested in one or the other could drop me a message. So, I installed a contact form and had it send those messages to my email. I was pretty happy with the way the site turned out and I still find myself tinkering with various pages when the bug hits.

What I got instead

After installing the Contact Page plugin and activating the page, I started getting about one message every few months. When I got the first message, I was excited that someone other than me was looking at my site. I opened the email to find it was spam  from a company offering to help with SEO on the site. What a let down and a waste or resources for that company, randomly finding personal websites and offering SEO fixes through the contact page. I totally understand this type of selling and why it may seem important but really? It is not like I am a trying to sell anything so was it really worth the effort? I mean, if someone happened to see my photography and wanted to buy it I would probably sell it provided I knew what it would be used for but that is not the intent of this site; after all, there is a shopping cart feature which I have turned off. Lately, these messages have been more frequent about one a day. Really? One a day, you must be getting desperate for business!

I do know about SEO, quite a bit really and I know all of the pages on my site are not optimized for SEO purposes. It gives me something to do when I just want to tinker with my site; update old pages and posts for SEO. When I add new pages and posts, they are all search engine optimized.

As you can see, I needed to remove my Contact Page because I hate to get spam email. Oh and by the way, this blog is SEO ready!

Guru’s Guide to Email Marketing

Guru’s Guide to Email Marketing

I receive emails every now and then with things like Download this White Paper NOW or Here is your free white paper.  I always fall for those emails IF the content sounds even a little bit interesting.  I got the little gem attached below in an email a week on 7/19/12; and I found some of it interesting.  I have posted those points below and attached the document so you can get more detail.

Email Marketing Today – Statistics, Facts and Survey Results

  • Email marketing outperforms every other channel on ROI and averages an impressive $44.25 for every dollar spent.
  • Investment in email marketing is estimates to grow from $1.3 billion in 2012 to $2 billion by 2014.
  • 88% of people check their email daily via mobile phone
  • Email newsletters that include social sharing buttons have a 115% higher average click-through rate

Conducting an Email Marketing Review

  • Get a good picture of where your campaigns are today by conducting an email marketing review
  • Develop a spreadsheet containing email results for the last 6-12 months
  • Base priority on the important metrics for your industry.
  • Varying results could be from many things…subject lines, from lines, etc.
  • Compare your data with others in your organization to see what differences there are
  • Pull together samples to see if you can figure out what drove the best results: subject line, format, content, segmentation
  • Pull together competitive messages to see what you could get inspired from

Building Your Email Opt-in List

  • There are three layers to building the list: foundational, auto pilot, and supplemental and the three layers work together to grow your list (see the document for more details)

Subject Lines that Get Results

  • 50 characters
    • look through the newspaper
    • focus on the objective
    • use the from field correctly
    • most important info first
    • personalize
    • test

The Truth about Email Deliverability

  • manage email reputation
  • honest identity
  • manage feedback loops
  • follow the law

Okay, so the document attached is 37 pages and I am not going to take up more of your time…please download the document and take a gander.

Gurus Guide to Email Marketing 2012 US

Email + Twitter + Facebook: 22 Tips to Cross-Channel Success

I attended a webinar about the merging of Email, Twitter and Facebook and the information contained below is a short recap of the document.

Today, one in every nine people on earth is a Facebook user and Twitter manages an average of 190 million tweets per day. This is according to a September 2011 post by social media blogger Jeff Bullas, aptly titled, Stunning Social Media Statistics. And just as stunning, the New York Times reported in January that over 107 trillion emails were sent in 2010.

The important take-away for marketers is this:

If you’re not communicating with your customers via social channels as well as through email, you’re not reaching your audience where it lives, works and plays.

Email and social are alike in a very significant way: they are the only two permission-based channels

Opt-in drivers

  • Facebook: use as a driver to increase email opt-in
  • Twitter: Link the tweet to the campaign and offer people a way to opt-in

Social Media increases word of mouth or reach due to sharing of content.

You can use conversations in Social Media to improve your email messages and other content messaging.

Know where your customers are in the Social Media world…there are so many providers you don’t have to use all of them.

Monitor blogs and other conversations to see what is being said; this will enable you to have more relevant communications of which your audience will have an interest.

Integrate “Like” and “Register with Facebook” or add the ability to share on Twitter.

Take your email and turn it into a Twitter and/or Facebook message.

Have solid performance metrics and goals set.

As always check out the document for more details.

Email Facebook Twitter: 22 Cross Channel Tips and Takeaways

Optimizing email in a mobile world

Yesterday I attended the Direct Marketing News Virtual Event and this blog is about the session I attended.  While interesting they really did not do a good job of explaining the best practices for “Optimizing email” for mobile devices.

  • 45% mobile phone users own a smartphone
  •  7% of mobile devices are tablets – small group but growing at a compounded rate of 23.59% per year
  •  77% of smartphone users use in stores
  •  More than half of adults buy on smartphone
  •  88% of people check their email via mobile phone daily
    • The majority of people in the near term will be iOS platform but that is shifting.
  • Landing pages (website pages you link to) should have both a desktop version and a mobile version.
  • Try to keep email design into a single column
  • Keep Copy short and sweet and simple
  • Primary call to action as high up as possible – make sure it is large enough for a finger to hit.
  • 6.4% of attendees emails are being opened on mobile.
  • ESP – that will allow insertion of a mobile optimized format
    • BrightWave Marketing (figures as this was one of the companies that presented)

One of the presenters also mentioned he had a blog:

www.makemobilework.com

 

8 Tips for B2B Email Marketing Success

I went through a webinar presented by Marketo about Email best practices and I thought I would share some thoughts from the presentation.  Like in past posts, I am not going to spew the entire contents of the presentation but mention a few highlights and you can take a look at the slides posted below.

  • Content
    • Fewer calls to action are better than multiple actions so as to not confuse people
    • Use bullets as it is faster to skim the message
  • Testing
    • Test in a minimum of Outlook and Google but the more you can test on the better
    • Test on mobile
  • How to articles go over very well
  • Subject lines
    • Four to six words
    • Don’t tell them who you are in the subject line – the from line should do that
  • Segment, Segment, Segment
  • Track use behavior to see what is clicked on and alter messages to guide the user
  • Build the relationship with the client – this will go further than other types of messages
  • Automate as many messages as possible

b2b-email-mktg-ebook