Posts Tagged digital marketing
In my opinion this is a lightly salted topic in the email marketing world. Seen as a must have but not taken too seriously as there will be many opportunities to make the desired impact in future.
Oh my, just how far off of the mark are we? When a prospective client consensually allows your brand or business to market email promotions and materials to them in future, many companies choose to let their first ever email communication simply trigger a text based, untraceable and most of all unprofitable email to the recipient. Many marketers see this as a time and cost saving process and choose to rather concentrate their efforts on the individually tailored marketing campaigns which the newly signed up recipient may receive in due time.
Keeping in mind that these prospective customers are now at the absolute peak of engagement levels the key components to a good welcome email or welcome series of emails is an honest representation of your brand and products as well as setting your recipients expectations of things to come from the very start of the digital relationship that they have entered into with your business. Essentially we want to drive them to a place of purchase and get them investing in your products financially, but also emotionally. An insensible text based welcome email will certainly not provoke favorable emotions.
The right mix of well designed and correctly targeted messages at the right time will give savvy marketers a hugely competitive advantage. Over the past years there have been various case studies and examples of just how essential this initial communication is as a key component of any sophisticated email marketing programme. When compiling your welcome email processes it is important to consider each acquisition source individually as this enables you to drive more relevant messaging which in turn should support recipients through the purchase process. The correct approach will not only drive the immediate wins in terms of converting to first time buyer, but will generally give you the insight to increase the lifetime value of each individual in your database. This is particularly important if you have an in-store segment which has the lowest online conversion/engagement rates as these should be contributing quite considerably to overall database growth as they sign into your digital communications.
A high-quality welcome series of emails will utilise dynamic content to provide the most personalised and relevant messaging to each acquired recipient, with a view to increasing interaction and conversion rates across the entire data asset. Testing of subject lines and content over time will create an increased understanding of the types of messages and content your users are most receptive to and most likely to engage on.
Many savvy email marketers have realised that a welcome series of emails can greatly assist with domain and sending reputation management by enabling the removal of incorrect or dormant data like hard bounced addresses before introducing the newest data to bulk mailing sends.
7 Key points to remember before creating a Welcome email or series are:
- Understand the different types of new subscribers and what they want or need from your communications
- Understand what you immediately know about your new subscriber and how this information will drive the content
- Make it clear to the user that they will be receiving further communications in the case of a welcome series.
Example: This is Part 1 of 3
- Boast about the benefits of being subscribed to your emails and deliver on the promise
- Only decide how many emails you will include in a series once you have mapped your content
- Ensure that the user is not sent your regular communications until they have moved through the welcome series.
- Use this opportunity to educate, set expectations and assist first time conversions.
The right mix of well designed and correctly targeted messages at the right time will give savvy marketers a hugely competitive advantage.
Although affiliate marketing is a high volume area which should not be avoided by marketers I have my own personal reservations with regards to affiliate companies and programmes and the possible cannibalisation of your existing loyal consumers. In the past I dealt with a reputable company of 25+ years which back in the early 90’s successfully evolved their business from a catalogue and postal order based selling strategy to a cross-channel sales strategy which included various new and exciting (at the time ) digital marketing disciplines. Currently, in the TwenTeens (My take on this decade’s abbreviation) the company sells products to a diverse range of young and old consumers. They rely on regular purchasing as a result of their weekly email broadcasts, monthly snail mail catalogues and PPC marketing campaigns.
2007 and business was great; we had managed to drive their email and pay per click ROI’s to an all time high and very much enjoyed watching the revenue tracker tick over month on month. As all was peachy in the Email, PPC and SEO marketing of their brand the most intriguing revenue channel to explore at the time was affiliate marketing.
It’s simple! They bring you ‘X’ amount of clicks which gets ‘X’ conversions and you pay them a small percentage accordingly. All involved parties make a return on their initial investment. Great, what could be better?
Although it started off small, over a few months we saw a gradual but significant ramp up of affiliate traffic and conversions which seemed very promising and rewarding at the time. What we also realised a few months later was that on the flip-side there was a gradual decrease in Paid and Natural search conversions.
Let me explain. You have a database of regular purchasers, each month they search on Google (as you do) to find your brands website. The first paid and natural search results will (most likely) display your brand. You then decide to take on affiliate companies to promote your brand and the results start looking different. Now the first paid or natural search results may be the affiliate company offering your product at a slightly reduced rate and you find yourself competing to get the top spot.
Based on this, what your brand suffers from is an existing long time customer who has always been more than happy to pay the full price for your products now finding the same goods at a lower price or with an incentive to go through the affiliate site which you then pay commission to.
In many instances the affiliate companies will have more in their budget to punt your brand on Google than you are willing to part with. After further investigation and cross referencing who the buyers were we terminated all affiliate activity and took back full control of the brand.
In conclusion, companies should carefully research who they affiliate themselves with. My advice is to keep clear of the larger players and cash back type companies.
Let me know if you have found similar instances where crossing channels has caused more damage than success.