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How to Make Your Newsletter a Success

If you’re reading this blog post, probably at some point you’ve asked yourself: “if newsletters are the answer to my marketing troubles like everyone seems to be saying, why isn’t mine working?”

You signed up to the recommended tools such as MailChimp, Curated and TinyLetter, built a list and got your content together but still no success. Why?

Well, put simply, just having the basics there won’t make people interested in what you’re saying, and you can’t grow a successful newsletter overnight. The wealth of competition means you need to stand out from the crowd, and to do that you need to be willing to put in the work.

There are many reasons why newsletters fail, so we’ve put together some helpful tips to ensure you have the best chance of success.

#1 Don’t Drop the Newbies in at the Deep End

When a new subscriber signs up, many newsletters just start by sending them the latest posts on the blog. Yikes! This person doesn’t know the blog, doesn’t know its history and may not even know exactly what they are likely to find.

A much better option is to show them what they’ve missed and help them catch up on some of your blog’s highlights.

To do this, you could make a welcome post with a curated list of your top-performing posts. By that we don’t just mean most visited. Try to use a different, more telling metric that will indicate to you that the post was a success. The posts with the highest conversion rates could be a good start.

Once you’ve welcomed them, you can send a few more emails in the next few days. Try to be as informative as possible and let them know the kind of content they can be expecting from you. Introduce them to your company and try to show them around – if you have an app, for example, give them tips on how to use it.

This tailored experience shows to your readers that you are engaged with them. They’re not just another subscriber, and you’re not just another junk email in their inbox.

#2 Treat Email Marketing as a Way to Build Relationships

This is, unfortunately, a broader problem with marketers. With newsletters specifically, try to remember that you are being welcomed into someone’s personal space – their inbox. People generally don’t want you to come in and shout about yourself and your promotions

Instead, people are generally looking for information or help for their professional or personal life.

If this seems counter-intuitive when you’re trying to make conversions, try to transform the way you see email marketing. Try to steer away from the idea of email as one of your regular channels, and try instead to view it as a way to build your relationship with the customer. If you manage to do that, you’ll get yourself a list full of loyal customers.

#3 Don’t Bombard Your Subscribers (But Do Still Send them Mail!)

Sure, we all want to be creative and flexible, but a publishing schedule is a bit of rigidity that can do you the world of good.

First off, it allows your customers to have an expectation in mind of how much they can expect from you. Once a day, once a week, once a month – that’s up to you. What matters is that once you have it set, don’t stray from that. Create a habit and stick to it.

#4 Ask Permission

Many newsletters fail simply because they’re being sent to people who didn’t explicitly request them. You might try to trick users into signing up in order to build your subscriber list but, in the end, if these people aren’t engaged and never meant to sign up in the first place then it’s simply a vanity metric.

Be sure that the people on your list actually want to be there. Otherwise soon enough they won’t be.

OFFICIAL: Google to Stop Right Side Ads; What This Means for You?

Right-Side Desktop Ads are a Thing of the Past!

Google is implementing a change in the AdWords marketing strategy that completely changes the game of online marketing. The removal of ads from the right side of desktop search results and instead, ads will be placed at the top and bottom of the page. There will be four ads above the search results, the fourth ad will be reserved for what Google considers “highly commercial queries”, such as searches involving hotel reservations, insurance companies, and other pillars that are in constant demand online.

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This transition is based on Google UI testing that has been in the works for the last few years. By eliminating right hand side ads entirely in favor of centrally focused top and bottom page ads, Google is providing a more efficient way for users to experience what they are seeking out online. This elimination of right side ads will also allow for desktop and mobile search results to be more in sync in terms of layout (mobile displaying two or three ads at the top, while desktop will be showing four). The new layout aims to align desktop and mobile search results, while attempting to weed out those paying to be at the top without providing a quality user experience.

While general ads will not appear on the right side of desktop search results, there are two exceptions to this worldwide alteration:

  • Product Listing Ad boxes
  • Knowledge Panel ads

Google is enforcing a competitively charged digital marketing environment through minimizing the amount of paid ads able to be presented. With that comes a few drawbacks as well as advantages for you as a small business.

The Advantages to Removing Right-side Desktop Search Results for Small Businesses

  • Your Click-Through-Rate will go up –

    If you are at the top or generally on the first page of google, consumers will be more inclined to click on your website because there’s less competition hovering around you. So if you’re on page 1, your conversion rate just went up!

  • Decrease in Competition, Increase in Conversion Rate –

    Because this change will require a higher bid (higher payment) to be placed for paid ads, less competitors will be inclined to pay a new amount. Many users click on the first link, check out the site then click back and click the following link.  They follow this process until they’ve gone through what they consider to be a good amount of options.  By there being less options on that first page, it means you have a higher probability of converting that consumer than you had before, where there were more ads.  This in turn, allows your business’s conversion rate to increase.

  • Smaller Players get eliminated

    – This can be a positive or a negative. If you’re an Adit client, chances are you’re trying to dominate your market. So the less small players the better! Before, users could have a $300 Ad spend budget and try to compete for the right side and slowly work their way up to the top. Now, you have to come to the table with a much bigger budget and the ability to stay afloat for a few months with such a budget. This essentially will eliminate the smaller players, put the focus on the big players to compete amongst themselves.

The Drawbacks to Removing Right-side Desktop Search Results for Small Businesses

  • There is an upswing in competition

    – before there had been 10 paid ads for search results at the top of the page, now there is 3. This creates a highly competitive atmosphere and a serious increase in ad spend needed to maintain a paid advertisement.

  • There is an increase in ad spend for same amount of conversions

    – Because cost per click will be higher, your cost to conversion will also go up. Meaning if you’re spending, for example, $1000 per a certain amount of conversions, the amount of conversions will drop for the same amount of money. You have to spend more or you have to improve your conversion rate to maintain the same amount of conversions online as you had before.

  • The value for SEO has increased –

    Because there is less opportunity to be ranked in the form of paid ads, SEO will be a more valuable asset for your business to invest in.

What this Means for You?

  • Importance of Long-tail Keywords –

    A common way to marketing through search engines is through targeting two to three high volume keywords. This is not the only efficient way to gauge leads online. The use of long-tail keywords goes a long way.  For example, many consumers commonly search phrases or questions that are related to the product or service you are providing. Such phrases could be tailored to fit into your marketing strategy and drive more traffic.  For these keywords, most of your competition will be so busy targeting the shorter words that they’ll forget to target the long tail keywords.  These long tail keywords will be much cheaper to target because of the lack of competition.

  • Smart Bid Strategies –

    Time is money and capitalizing on opportune moments within the online marketing process is a key to successfully out-doing your competition. By inserting your ads when competitors’ ads have dropped for the day, because they’ve run out of ad spend due to the more intense bidding, you’re allowing for your ads to show up at much cheaper prices.  The key is running smart strategies where you can maximize your clicks and minimize your costs.

  • Dominate or Go Home –

    The value of efficient ad campaigns has dramatically gone up over time and especially after this transition is put in place for Google paid ads. If your digital marketing campaign is not constantly improving and changing according to keyword search volume and competition as well as what industry competition is doing, you might as well pack it up and go home. Having a quality score of 6 is not sufficient enough to withstand the new marketing climate, you must have a quality score of 8 or 9 to now compete for the top three ads. Those who decide they can handle their ad campaigns from home are putting themselves at a disadvantage because they’re not seasoned in marketing and they’re not equipped to keep up with the constant alterations and maintenance that is required in a bidding atmosphere.  We give you this information first-hand, not because we are trying to present to you a hopeless case in light of the changes made by Google. Quite the contrary, we are telling you about this change because we want our clients to remain informed about the work we do and how, despite these changes, our services can continue to persevere through a highly competitive digital marketing environment. There’s a reason why our clients are without complaints, our company is adaptable to change. Our level of transparency not only helps our clients understand where they’re putting their money, but it allows them to rely on us for exactly what we promise them.

  • SEO is More Important Now than Ever Before –

    With the diminished capability to rank in paid ads, because of the upswing in competition and bidding, your organic SEO campaign has to be tremendously stronger than it was before. This requires a skilled and experienced SEO expert that can optimize your website’s content and ability to be indexed well by Google as a website that provides exceptional UI and relevant information for consumers searching for your business online.

  • Facebook and Instagram are More Valuable –

    We have grown accustomed to Facebook marketing over the last few years, and its ability to enhance a business’s marketability to consumers. With this new development in Google’s ranking metric, utilizing this platform is increasingly more important to your business’s marketing campaigns and strategies. Similarly to the Facebook marketplace, the ability to create sponsored ads on Instagram is a new window of opportunity. Applying your marketing strategy through this popular medium, can assist many kinds of business owners in various industries.

In our next article, we’ll go over how the new Paid Ads platform in Instagram will change the landscape of Instagram marketing.  In the meantime, if you have any further questions, feel free to call us or email us!

9 Ways to Keep Clients Loyal and Boost Your Client Retention

If, like thousands of businesses out there, you’re looking to turn the dial on your ROI and grow your business, you’ve probably been mostly focusing your marketing on client acquisition.

More clients means more money, right?

Well, as the marketplace becomes ever more saturated, Social Media becomes crowded and SEM becomes more expensive, prudent marketers have been looking elsewhere to make a difference to their agency.

Increasing the retention rate of clients can help boost profitability in the short and long term. A loyal customer can be more valuable to you than a new customer, and there isn’t the same cost associated as with new customer acquisition.

But how exactly to go about increasing the retention rate? Here we offer you some top tips.

Understanding these points of view and communicating deadlines, progress toward goals, what’s included in a project, your process, your communication style, etc., is essential for making sure expectations are met. This, in turn, will keep clients happy with the relationship for longer

1. Keep Your Client’s Expectations Realistic – Then Over Deliver.

We all know of clients that get over-excited and expect to see results immediately. You should communicate clearly from day 1 (and then continually afterwards) exactly what they can expect, how they can expect it and when they will expect it. Explain your processes to them and ensure they understand everything about the way you work. This will keep the relationship good, expectations reasonable and your client happy.

A method for starting this process is to share case studies with your client during your sales process. This will help them to see what kind of agency you are, how you work and what they can expect from you. It gives them an idea of exactly how you will work together

If you can then over deliver on your promises, your client will be thrilled and sure to come back for more

2. Frequently tell your client what is going on and share results with them

Your client wants to know exactly what they are getting for their money, and they are far more likely to be happy with your agency if you are consistently delivering results. You should demonstrate to them exactly how you have helped increase leads and retention levels, and back it up with data. Show them what you did, the results you achieved, and what you will do in the future to improve.

3. Have a “next step” in mind, and communicate it to your client

Keeping the idea of a “next step” in your client’s mind is essential. They will want to know what the plan for the future looks like. A great way to do this is by creating a roadmap for the future of your work, so have your account executives regularly redraw and renovate their plans to keep everything fresh and on point. Include steps for nex projects and clearly demonstrate your excitement in extending your relationship with your client.

4. Regularly ask for feedback and seek to improve

There’s no way you can improve unless you know what you’re doing wrong. Why do clients leave your marketing company? What would make your client even happier?

Be sure to regularly ask for feedback from your clients. Doing so on a project basis, for example, will allow you to notice if your client’s satisfaction levels are decreasing and you need to improve something. Being proactive about this not only shows your willingness to improve, but helps you learn for future projects and allows you to identify problems you and your team may not have considered.

5. Remind them of the good times

At the same time as getting feedback and seeking to improve, client retention rates will increase if you are sure to demonstrate to them exactly what has gone right so far. It’s not enough to simply deliver results and expect your client to be thrilled. If you can build memories around your successes and show just how valuable your marketing company has been in improving your client’s digital marketing efforts, for example, they’re more likely to remember these moments and consider extending your relationship.

6. Be consistent

Sure, your client may have said they want a “fun” agency that’s “willing to take a risk”, but that doesn’t mean they want inconsistency.

Have a set process for the onboarding of new clients where you share your workflows and previous projects. Discuss with them your project management techniques and show them how efficient and professional you are.

Sure, you want to be creative and you need to be flexible, but having a fixed backbone in terms of your approach to projects encourages you to be creative as you seek to improve upon a process that already works.

7. Integrate a client relationship marketing strategy into your business

Far too frequently agencies forget about their marketing strategies once they have a client on board, and leave all communication to the account manager. A great way to further personalize the relationship and build trust is to set up a monthly newsletter from the CEO. You can also have more senior members of staff attend quarterly meetings. This will show how seriously your agent takes the client, and how interested you are in creating a lasting relationship.

Similarly, building relationships with team members other than the account manager will help your client to understand the company better and, should your account manager leave the company, your client is unlikely to walk away too since their relationship isn’t just built around one individual.

8. Get a CRM system and keep a record of communication

Detailed notes of the history of your relationship with a client will help you when you onboard new staff members. They can quickly understand the dynamics of the relationship and any previous issues that have been encountered, and be prepared to build upon this relationship

By adopting a CRM system you can store pointers from meetings, phone calls and share useful tips around the preferences of the clients and any ongoing issues. This will help improve customer retention levels as the client sees your invested interest in their company.

9. Boost loyalty with kindness

Happy customers are loyal customers and happiness can be found in kindness. You can perform acts of kindness for your client by offering them a surprise gift or gesture. Perhaps you finish a project early, or take the client out for a meal.

Another way to show kindness to your client is to do something that delights them, and shows them that your work for them goes above and beyond the ordinary expectations. They may expect you to deliver upon the expectations you set out to them, but they may not expect a blog post that shows the behind the scenes action at a joint-company event, or a report on an aspect of their digital marketing that they didn’t expect.

Are Marketers Ready for the Cross-Device Super Bowl?

Millennials, Digital Shifts, and Super Bowl

The first Super Bowl was held on January 15, 1967. That day marked the beginning of an era for the sports industry, leading to billions of dollars spent on teams, players, and advertising for the most notable and favorite past time of Americans. Now, The Super Bowl is one of the most celebrated and televised event in the world. Networks such as CBS have live streams of the Super Bowl, which is available in over 180 countries and in more than 25 languages.

With time, this national treasure has become widely viewed not purely for the fun of football, but more so for its glamorous half-time shows performed by the most in vogue celebrities, and the screening of new commercials released by dozens of multi-million dollar companies. This digital revolution is led by the generation of the Millennials. The current state of Super Bowl telecast in America and around the world has never been more exciting.

Digital Shifts Mean Wider Audience

Alternate viewing platforms, for instance, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices, tablets and laptops, bring sports advertising to a larger audience; an audience that is broadly diverse in terms of race, geography, age and interest. Millennials (18-34 year olds) are leading this shift in consumption.

Adobe Digital Index conducted a study that showed that fifty percent of Millennials want to watch live sports on some sort of gadget that they own (such as smartphones, Smart TV or gaming console) rather than on their traditional TV. People still love to sit in the living room and watch the Super Bowl over pizza and beer on their TV screen, but a number of Millennials plan to watch at least some parts of the game on their tablet or smartphone. With these gadgets, anyone can watch the game from anywhere on the planet.

Furthermore, Millennials are four times more likely to watch a live sporting event on their gaming device than the Baby Boomers (35 years old and above). Millennials are also two times more likely to watch the game on their laptop, and one in four Millennials like the idea of downloading an app to watch an important live sporting event like the Super Bowl.

The way people watch sports is shifting tremendously. For this reason, networks such as CBS has allowed the Super Bowl to be available for live streaming without verification so that the game can reach the largest number of viewers.

Need for Innovative, Funny and Moving Ads

The Millennials who are leading the consumption in this digital revolution are two times more likely than the Baby Boomers to use their smartphone or tablet during the game for web surfing or unrelated social media activities. This provides numerous opportunities for marketers to capture the attention of the viewers through means beyond the television ads.

The Adobe Digital Index’s study found that about fifty-eight percent of Millennials are likely to watch a Super Bowl ad on social channels before the game. So, advertisers release teasers and even entire ads

Retention Marketing: Why You Need to Start!

Why You Need To Start Retention Marketing Today!

In the world of online marketing it can seem like trends come and go within the blink of an eye. It is slightly ironic, then, that the latest of these is known as “retention marketing”. But, unlike other marketing buzzwords, retention marketing isn’t just a flash in the pan, and there is a good reason for the increase in attention paid to this form of marketing.

But just what is retention marketing, and how can it work for you?

So, what is Retention Marketing?

While many forms of marketing focus on the acquisition of new customers, retention marketing instead seeks to increase the profits you make from existing customers by engaging them in your store and encouraging them to return again (and again). Put simply, retention marketing aims to increase the chances that your customers will shop with you again.

This, of course, means that it is not a standalone form of marketing. This is about driving extra profit and turning up the needles even further.

You’ll still need to use your existing marketing plan and techniques such as Content Marketing and SEM in order to drive the traffic to your site and make the initial sale, but with retention marketing these customers should become loyal, engaged buyers.

Two metrics to go with for retention marketing are purchase frequency and repeat purchase rate. These metrics signify how often your typical customer purchases something, and how likely it is that they will return.

Retention marketing is, overall, a long term strategy that seeks to increase profitability in the long run. You should, if all goes well, see an increase in your customer lifetime value, which is one of the most valuable metrics to companies.

Why Should Your Company Use Retention Marketing?

It feels like for the past few years us marketers have been inundated with different tactics to add to our marketing strategy. Why is it only now that we’re hearing about retention marketing?

Well, since the proliferation of SEM and Social Media marketing, things have gotten more expensive and less effective. Before we could rely on these channels to drive huge amounts of traffic to our sites, and not worry whether that person would come back since there would always be another person on the way. Now that simply isn’t the case.

Just take a look at this table for evidence. In each industry the average cost per click on US Google AdWords increased from 2012 to 2014. It’s safe to say this didn’t slow down in 2015, and won’t stop in 2016.

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Social media is on much the same trajectory. In 2015 there was a large uproar when many Facebook advertisers and users found that posts were suddenly not achieving the reach that they used to. Facebook said they had new, improved algorithms, but even at the most basic level it is easy to see that as more and more advertisers use Facebook, there is less opportunity to be seen by users.

The idea of retention marketing is to combat this drop in new customers with a different method. If you make sure each customer that you do acquire is more valuable, you’ll see your profits growing anyway.

So, Shall I Just Focus on Retention Marketing Now?

Of course, to retain customers you first need to acquire them, and so your internet marketing strategy should not be completely overhauled. Rather, you should incorporate retention marketing into your current digital marketing efforts to ensure that your acquisition and retention efforts work well together.

Retention marketing will also only be truly effective if you already have acquisition marketing in place. So if yours is a brand new business, you will need to focus on bringing customers to your store before you try to engage them further. Indeed, if you’re a new business, all your marketing efforts should initially be placed on acquisition.

Some Final Thoughts on Retention Marketing

It stands to reason that your ROI will increase if you offer customers value and encourage them to return to your store. For some businesses this will not be quite as easy as others – for example, getting customers to come back and purchase another humidifier for their home may be a challenge.

Overall, however, retention marketing done right will turn up the dial on your ROI and ensure you make the most out of your current online marketing efforts.

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