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Fresh out of the FireDrum Design Studio — Check out Bruce Brown Catering. Perfect for weddings, corporate events and private parties! – www.brucebrowncatering.com
Six Techniques to Optimize Your Email Campaigns
No matter the size of your organization, building a database of your current and prospective customers has become an integral aspect of your organizations success. The question becomes; what to do with all the data you have acquired and how can it help me generate additional revenue?
Email marketing allows for your business to control what, how, and when your message is received by your contact base. Sending a one size fits all message limits the effectiveness of your communications and prevents an organization from fully engaging your contacts and utilizing the valuable data you have collected.
Segmenting your contacts and customizing your messaging is one of the simplest and most effective techniques you can do with your email marketing campaigns. You can reward your contacts by providing relevant content as well as be able to control how they interact with your website and products/services.
To get a sense of the impact of proper segmentation take a look at these stats
|Increased Open Rates by 39%|
|Increased Click-through Rates by 27%|
|Increased Customer Engagement by 24%|
|Increased Word of Mouth Engagement by 14%|
|Decreased Unsubscribe Rates by 24%|
|Decreased Complaint Rates by 15%|
As you can see from the stats above, proper segmentation can in–turn provide considerable impact to your bottom line as well as your brand reputation. Let’s look at six simple ways you can implement these improvements:
Technique 1: Select One Category to Segment First
There are many data fields that can be used to effectively segment your contact base. To avoid confusion and being overwhelmed by the data you have accumulated on your customers; pick one data point to build your initial segmentation campaign. By selecting only one data set, you can focus your messaging as well customize your content directly to your segmented group. Overtime you will see the impact of this messaging, positive or negative. With this foundation you can easily modify or adjust your lists by expanding the complexity of your segmented groups.
Technique 2: Brainstorm Your Segments
A major benefit when taking on a segmentation project is to do a proper brainstorming session around what categories your contacts can be split into. Consider what data you are collecting currently and what data you would like to collect moving forward. Insight into the products and services you provide as well as your sales process should provide valuable insight on who your customers are and why they might need unique messaging.
One of the most basic and effective segmentation techniques is to split your contacts between past, current, and potential clients. All three segments require different communications with different calls to action. Past customers should be looked at as potentials to reuse your product or service, current customer communications should be centered on retention and referral communications, and potential customers should be led down your sales funnel to conversion.
Technique 4: Segment by Products and Services
If your company provides multiple products or services as most do, you should qualify contact interest and then use these interests as segmentation points. Relevance is key to strong email communication and what is more irrelevant then receiving information about a product or service you do not care about. Let your customers decided what they want and they will thank you for it by remaining loyal and referral generating patrons.
Technique 5: Segment by Geography
If your business operates in multiple regions, content should be segmented by those business areas. Understanding what a customer in Texas would be interested vs. a customer in Alaska will help you increase response rates as well as revenue for your organization.
Technique 6: Segment by Demography
Customers come in all different shapes and sizes. Understanding the demographics behind your current customer base will be essential to your product selection as well as overall marketing strategy. Utilizing those insights and customizing you’re messaging around the businesses core demographics will increase response rates as well as your overall email ROI.
If your organization has any question about how to best segment your list or how to update your current data capture forms, please contact one of our email specialists today for a free consultation.
|Version 4.0 (Released November 11, 2013)|
The Top 7 Ways to Acquire New Emails
Acquiring email addresses and, more importantly, the new customers and clients who own these addresses can be a challenge for any business, no matter its vertical or size. Since having someone to email is a pretty important part of email marketing, we will highlight 7 of the most effective methods in acquiring new email contacts for your business. These suggestions are not ranked in order, nor are they all the methods your company could use. Instead, please use them as a guide to improve your current email address acquisition strategies.
#1. Social Media to Email — The Next Step of Engagement
Using Facebook and other Social Media to acquire email addresses should be a primary focus for your acquisition efforts. Below is an example of how Pei-Wei uses a coupon offered on Facebook to acquire new email addresses. The promotion is hosted on their Facebook page. Consumers are encouraged to first like Pei-Wei and then are taken to a sign up form.
A key take away from this promotion is how they prompt the consumer to select if they would like future offers. This shows Pei-Wei’s consideration of a user’s potential interest and will lead to a clean and engaged list for future use.
#2. Sweepstakes — One Big Prize and a Whole Lot of Emails
I am from the generation that, when I hear the term sweepstakes, I see Ed McMahan approaching someone’s door with a giant check. Fortunately, you do not need the TV personality or the giant check to run a successful sweepstakes. Think about a prize that would be appealing and relevant to your core client base. Promote it through social media, display advertising, and your website. Lead your sweepstakes registrants to specific landing pages. These landing pages will be able to opt consumers in, provide insight on which promotional channel is most effective at generating traffic, and lastly allow for capturing of a number of important data fields outside of just an email and name.
#3. News and Event Notifications — What’s Up Doc???
If consumers are interested in your business, logically they should be visiting your site. The question then becomes how to get them to take the next step of engagement once they do visit. Quality and relevant content will keep them exploring, but providing specials, focused news, and event notifications should lead them to opt in to your email communications.
#4. Whitepapers and Value Added Downloads — Can I Have a Sample Please???
Don’t just give away valuable information, time, or content. Make sure that if you’re providing value to prospective customers that you at least capture their email address. If they want the content badly enough, it should not pose much of a barrier to ask them to opt into your email list. The type of information they request should allow for well-thought-out drip campaigns and in turn push the prospect further down the sales funnel.
#5. Capture Cards — Can I Have Your Autograph Please???
In-store cards can be an extremely productive outlet for retailers to capture information about their customers.
Having customers fill out their information in the billfold, at the counter, or taken by an employee at the point of sale can lead to significant list expansion as well as important feedback about your product and service.
#6. Loyalty Programs — The Death of the Punch Card
The use of loyalty programs for businesses has been growing over the last decade. I remember the first iterations of these programs where you were given a punch card, and each visit got you closer to that free coffee or car wash. While these programs still linger, the modern organization now uses much more complex versions of the punch card through marketing companies that specialize in this niche. These programs can be both effective and expensive, so be wary when deciding on a vendor for this service. Most importantly, make sure your potential vendor allows you easy access to the email and purchase data that is generated from these programs.
#7. Networking and Guerilla Marketing — Get Out There and Shake Some Hands
No matter how much our communication has shifted to the digital landscape, I think no other form is as effective as interpersonal communication. Company events, trade shows, festivals, etc., can all be effective venues for promoting your business and capturing email addresses from potential or current customers. Arm your employees with a tablet or smart phone, create a landing page with an API into your email system, and Presto… New email contacts for you to communicate with.
Questions? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Today, it is not enough to just touch a potential customer. Consumers are inundated with countless messages throughout the day. According to Gartner, “The average U.S.consumer is exposed to 1,200 ad messages/impressions per day.” To be effective marketers, we must engage a potential customer with relevant content and personalized messaging. How can this be accomplished on a large scale without hiring a massive staff to walk potential customers through the sales process?
Marketing Automation starts with understanding your end consumer and your sales process. Which steps in the process can be converted from being done manually by an employee to being automated by an email? What information does your company need from a consumer to determine the type of product or service you should be marketing to them? After what point in the sales process is someone ready to buy? These questions seem simple enough but understanding your company’s internal processes will lead to major efficiencies through automated email marketing.
Once your sales process is understood, automated emails can inform, communicate, segment, and engage your customers in an infinite number of ways. In addition, every step of the sales process the customer goes through is trackable and can provide valuable information to the marketer. Automated communications can simplify your marketing processes, increase revenue, and at the same time decrease internal resource time and costs. If you feel you are ready to get started with an automated email program, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
Return on Investment is surely – and deservedly – the key metric used today to measure the impact of marketing communications.
Yes, ROI is magical, clearly the Holy Grail for determining the worth of sales-oriented messaging. Though this is widely acknowledged, curiously, it is one of the least understood and applied tools in the marketer’s arsenal. This is because it is, at best, difficult to calculate in most advertising media, particularly branding-focused campaigns that do not lend themselves to being readily tracked.
Conversely, because of its track ability, judgments made about digital advertising tend to be more accurate, easier to calculate and, thus, more useful for bottom-line evaluation purposes. If, indeed, putting together an ROI calculation for digital marketing is easier, then one can only wonder why the Direct Marketing Association reports that, when surveyed, just 61% of the respondents said they were able to calculate revenue produced from e-mail marketing, whereas 34% do not know how!*
That’s true . . . fully one-third of e-mail marketers don’t get it!
To create an effective ROI, a marketer must understand the revenue generated from the campaign, the actual cost of the campaign, and lastly, but often overlooked, the cost of goods/services sold.
Here is a quick example of this formula in action:
The monthly budget for e-mail marketing is $500. It generates 25 sales per month. Each sale generates $200. The cost of goods sold is $120.
Using this example:
Thus, every $1 spent on e-mail marketing produces $4. This number can also be used to measure the effectiveness of other marketing media. If an advertising medium has a lower ROI, it is reasonable to assume it is a less effective use of the marketing budget. Understanding how to balance these ROIs across all marketing efforts is essential to a cost-effective marketing strategy.
Note: If this method is used to evaluate various marketing media, you must use care in determining how to recognize revenue and cost allocation. You must also implement the same formula across all mediums to fairly compare your marketing spend.
The question then becomes, how should e-mail reports be used to determine ROI? According to Lyris, the top two ways are, Example: A) counting the number of e-mail clicks or conversions (55%) and B) counting the number of email opens (33%). There is no doubt the more effective method of tracking ROI is the latter. First, make sure your e-mail communication has a call to action that is track able. Couponing and promotional offers are the easiest to track through to conversion. These communications can be coded, and when redeemed can provide an accurate picture of revenue generated. When using e-mail primarily to foster the sales process, you must consider metrics like appointments set and phone calls in; these can be assigned a close rate, and revenue can be determined through a simple calculation.
Using the FireDrum reporting capabilities allows seeing, not only how many clicks/and or conversions occur, but which customers are converting. Both, those who respond to your e-mail marketing efforts and those who do not should be identified. You can create separate categories for each segment and customize your messaging with the goal of optimizing your e-mail recipients’ conversion.
If ever you feel the need for help in understanding your reports, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can help optimize your campaigns and the automated communications associated with them to ensure every dollar spent provides you a positive return.
As if the launch of FireDrum Version 3.3 wasn’t exciting news enough, FireDrum is making the news even sweeter with our largest promotion of the year.
Now through March 1st, take advantage of our lowest prices yet with two special offers to help get your message out.
Still need to sign up? Click here!
We have partnered with Email On Acid to provide you with the ability to preview your email in 54 combinations of the most popular email clients and mobile devices including smart phone and tablets. Save time while being confident your email looks correct and consistent.
You are able to view 27 web based email previews, 17 desktop email application previews and 10 mobile email previews.
Unlike web browsers, email clients are far more strict when it comes to HTML and CSS standards. Just because your email renders properly in a web browser does not mean it will render correctly in every inbox. By utilizing the power of the Inbox Preview Assistant within your account, you can now preview your email in 8 operating systems, 6 web browsers, and 32 email clients – all within one click. Ready to start using the Inbox Preview Assistant? Find it below your message in step 2 of the Easy Step Publishing Wizard!
Don’t forget to check out our other new features! To learn more about our updated Interactive Reports, go here.
Version 3.3 is finally here and FireDrum is happy to introduce the new Interactive Reports! You will notice we have redesigned your Members and Reports dashboard with clickable graphs to instantly provide the information that’s most important with the ability to interact and find all your data with ease.
The updated Members by Status section provides you with an overview on your members based on status and is depicted as a pie chart. Slices represent figures ranging from the type of member enrollment to the way members are deactivated by your list. This is perfect to use as a birds-eye view of member subscription health. By hovering over each slice, you are prompted with a pop up to click on the chart and drill down to view the members that make up the slice. From this module, you can also print or download the chart as an image (PNG, JPG, PDF, SVG).
The second update on the Members dashboard is the Member Trends module. This chart provides you with information on member trends. You can toggle the visibility of each data group by clicking within the legend. The line chart for your active members displays the growth of your contacts. The bars represent the total for each data group during the specified time period. You can use the date picker to select the date range for the displayed member trends. The zoom feature allows you to choose to view the chart in increments from 1 week to the lifetime of your account.
The reports dashboard has been completely revamped and is now easier to view a quick snapshot of how well your campaign has been performing. The updated Last Campaign Sent module highlights the number of recipients sent, the number of people who opened your message, the number of clicks and the number of bounced emails. By expanding the report, you get a more detailed view of the last campaign sent as well as an interactive chart that displays the unique opens, clicks, bounces and complaints. By clicking on each legend item, you can toggle the data group on or off similar to the Member Trends report found on the Members dashboard. You also have the ability to select the date range and the zoom feature.
In addition to adding Interactive Reports we have also added other new features including the Inbox Preview Assistant! To learn more, click here.