The Click to Purchase Myth.

When small brands roll out big dreams.

There are billions of marketing books, articles and gurus all claiming they have a silver bullet to generate leads while you sleep and get you that beach house in a matter of months. Like most things, what you read will rarely transform your life. Why is that? One word: execution. So, after a couple of attempts on your own, you hire a marketing agency, armed with the knowledge by experts and prepared to make an investment that will generate high returns.

This may seem like an exaggeration, but in reality, it isn’t too far from the truth. Businesses see the opportunity and desire a “click to purchase” product or service. This is where you build your digital marketing machine with paid ads to generate leads and a website to purchase. Sounds simple and the books will give you formula after formula to make it happen. And then they hit the wall- where are sales?

Assuming that marketing will be your sole driver for revenue is one of the biggest mistakes we see business owners make.

If you are ready to launch a product or a click to purchase service, here are a couple of things you should keep in mind and be prepared for. Consider this your reality check:

  1. If you want to build a digital empire be prepared to have deep pockets. It takes a lot of money to get enough traction and analytics to make a dent and even that first sale will take time and refinement. Know that you will learn lessons along the way, and they will be expensive.
  2. It will take time. Nothing worth having comes easily or instantaneously. It takes a lot of testing, refining and optimizing to get your targeting and message right. It takes at least 3 months to create baselines, understand the market and get a good feel for where you want to go. Even those digital marketing gurus had thousands of things that didn’t work out until they found their golden goose; even if that’s all they talk about. Know that it will take you time too.

If that sounds unappealing, know that there is another way to get your click to purchase solution launched. Take the uncertainty out of the equation and build a business that lasts, not just until the next Google algorithm change.

You are going to need to sell the first several solutions or products. Yes, it’s true. You will need to talk to people, understand what motivates them and how your digital solution solves their challenges. By skipping these early sales conversations you will need to invest much more time and money in marketing proving out different hypothesis. By having the conversations and connecting with these customers, you gain valuable insights and feedback that will help your business exponentially.

Let’s face it, a consultative sales process where you get to understand your customer, build a relationship and find solutions is at odds with a digital play. On the internet, you have to guess at what their challenges are,and feed them information, facts, proof that you are awesome. When you have a consultation you build connection and learn about your clients. This just can’t be done authentically digitally until you understand it in the real world.

What this boils down to is sales process. The more complex the offering, the more complex the sale. Make sure you aren’t just building a marketing machine, but a sales process that aligns with your values, your business, and your customers needs.

Depending on marketing to solely drive your revenue from the get-go is a risky business. We believe in creating sustainable programs that support elevate and grow businesses, not that ARE the business. If you would like to learn more about what a sales and marketing strategy looks like for you- it's time for us to talk! info@atrevenue.com


What to Ask Before You Book: A Fast and Awesome Guide to Hiring the Right Speaker

 

If you’re getting ready to start the sometimes daunting process of selecting a speaker for your stage, you're undoubtedly aware of the tidal wave of details that need to be addressed to get the right person for the job. If you don’t have experience in this field, you're more than likely enjoying the thrill of building anxiety as you throw yourself into the selection process. Not to fear, the @revenue team is here.

If you have a cool 50-100k, you can easily fix your eyes on a public figure and google yourself into a hot name for your upcoming event, but more often than not that will buy you a ‘basic’ sports star, reality TV show or celebrity personality. Just don’t call them basic to their face...they hate that. If you don’t have a budget that hits those marks, then you're reading the right blog. We can help you get some vision for what you need beyond the big bucks.

First, you need to understand what the purpose of this speaker is for your event. Is this person setting the emotional setting for your event? Do you want people on their feet? Laughing? Crying? Throwing cash in the air?!? Are you looking for an expert, an entertainer... or both?

Here's a fantastic checklist that will help you ask the questions that need to be asked to get the best speaker for your event.

How to Prep for Hiring a Speaker: What to know and what to ask before the big show

Fees & Expenses

  1. What fee does this speaker charge for the length and type of engagement that you're looking for?
  2. Does the speaker's fee match your budget?
  3. If not, are there other places that you can pull funds from? Can you give them advertising, a booth, additional exposure in any way that will assist them with their goals?
  4. Does the speaker require travel fees? If so, what are their requirements and who does the booking?
  5. Is a deposit needed to hold your date?
  6. Are there ANY other fees? Bureau? Per diem? Personal cabana boy?
  7. Can they fill more than one spot on your roster (and save you on the cost of another speaker’s travel)?

Experience & Expertise

  1. Is the speaker a professional speaker or an expert who speaks?
  2. Does the speaker have multiple formats? Keynote? Workshop? Interactive?
  3. Do they have a livelihood that depends on them doing what they are speaking about, or do they just train?
  4. Can they custom craft an event for you?
  5. Do they have any certifications or accreditations in their field? Have they won any awards?
  6. How do they typically prepare for a speaking gig?
  7. Do their speaker reels (videos) appear engaging? Entertaining? Exciting?
  8. What materials will they bring? Are they going to bring educational or supportive materials or only just their selling tools?
  9. Can they use ‘clean jokes’ or do they only get laughs when eyebrows are raised?
  10. Are they published? Do they have books, articles, youtube shows or the like?

Environment & Temperament

  1. How easy was the speaker, or their team, to connect with? Get answers from? Talk to?
  2. How will they make your organization look good?
  3. Do they seem to speak at the same level that your audience is at?
  4. Are they going to just be on stage, or are they going to engage with the folks at your event?
  5. Do they use the tech tools that are going to make it a fit for your audience?
  6. If they are going to sell from the stage, what does that look like and can they do it with class?
  7. Can they help you drive home your message from the stage? Do you want them to drive people to take the next step? Purchase a product or something else?
  8. Will they be easy to work with?
  9. When will they arrive at the event? Leave?
  10. Can they be flexible to last-minute changes?
  11. What impact will this speaker have on the audience once the chairs have been put away?

Well, there you have it. The exhaustive, every-question-answered speaker booking checklist. I hope this helps you on your journey. We are here to help you find your next (or first) ‘perfect’ speaker, and just for the record, we have already asked most of these questions for you!

Find out more at today- we are ready to help! Speakers@atrevenue.com


Demystifying Marketing Myths

In a world with “alternative facts” and the ability to make your own truth, there is a lot of miss-information out there. @revenue is here to shed light and truth on some of the most common marketing myths and why they just aren’t facts. These misconceptions are dangerous and can seriously impact your business.

Marketing Myth #1: My business is so incredibly unique, it is too complex for anyone outside of our firm to communicate.

Why it’s false: Look, no marketer will ever be able to know your business better than you,  but do you know what they are experts at? Communicating with your audience. How you translate that expertise and unique offering to the masses to best connect and engage is critical for generating sales.

Marketing Myth #2: I received an email from someone who says he can get my site to page 1 on Google.  For just $99!

Why it’s false: Really? Are you going to fall for that one? SEO takes time and is a long-term strategy. Don't fall for some cheap tricks that may work today, but will leave you burned in the long run.

Marketing Myth #2.5: My cousin is an insta-star.

This goes right next to “the millennial on the team will do social media.” Leaving your brand, reputation, and marketing strategy to someone that knows how to use a tool is not enough. They need to have a strategy, plan and know how to generate ROI, not “likes”, from their efforts.

Marketing Myth #3: It doesn't need any marketing, really. It sells itself.

Why it’s false: Nothing sells itself. Even Apple's greatest products require the right placement at the right time communicated by the right people to the right audience.

Marketing Myth #4: The client is always right.

Why it’s false: I get it, we are in the service industry, but really? How does this develop trust and good recommendations? If the client was always right, why are they asking for help? Because they tried something one way and it didn't work perhaps? So, let's stop putting them on high platforms as always right and work with them as partners.

Marketing Myth #5: I don't need marketing to target my offering. Anybody and everybody can use my services.

Why it’s false: Because if anybody and everybody actually showed up at your doorstep tomorrow, you couldn't possibly service them anyway.

Marketing Myth #6: Word of mouth and a website is enough -

Why it’s false: Delivering quality, targeted and convertible traffic to your website takes a strategy, a budget, execution and some time. Don't wait for the pipeline to inevitably dry up. You need to be proactive instead of waiting by your inbox for a lead to come in.

Marketing Myth #7: Facebook is the only valid way to get your message across to people anymore.

Why it’s false: HA! That’s like saying, “The only way to get protein is to eat a lot of eggs.” There are TONS of channels, groups, mediums and tools to get your message across. If you believe this, you might be a little narrow-minded. Let an experienced marketer show you some solutions.

We all know first hand how annoying it can be to get the same assumption and miss-information driving networking conversations and sales calls. For many experienced professionals, they never had the opportunity to learn about marketing, so they get bad information from the internet, sleazy marketers pumping out misinformation that they take as truth. If you have a question or assumption about marketing, contact @revenue to explain more.


How We Inspire Clients To Tackle Sales In The Office And In The Field!

Sales cannot stop once the contract gets signed!

Your sales process is part of your brand, part of your culture and the lasting impression that people take from your business. At @revenue, we know that creating a powerful process that both your sales team and your internal team can follow will allow not only for more sales but greater customer service and increased value per client!

 

If your business is ready for powerful growth, it's time we talked. 312.720.1399 x1

 


Fix These Weak Spots in your Business Practices

Written By: Rebecca Berneck

We’ve noticed that most small businesses owners like yourself focus their attention on delivering their services and neglect the operations hoping things take care of themselves. Whether you’re a set-it-and-forget type or a diligent planner, the end of the year is a great time to look at your small business management practices and make certain nothing is falling through the cracks. In addition to reviewing your financial position, set aside some time to review two aspects of your business operations: bookkeeping and document management.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping can be tedious and confusing. While it appears straightforward, (money coming in is income; money going out is an expense) properly categorizing everything can require a solid background in bookkeeping. However, with good bookkeeping, you’ll be able to generate accurate financial reports. These reports help you clearly see things like where you’re making the most money and what expenses are the highest. You’ll also get a good sense of your cashflow position, arguably the lifeblood of any business.

If your bookkeeping is messy and you can’t generate clean financial statements, then you can’t effectively plan for the future. If you’re using Excel to track your business finances, it might be time to consider upgrading to QuickBooks. And, if you’re already on QuickBooks, review your chart of accounts and your products and services list, archiving ones you don’t use anymore and combining duplicates.

Document Management

All businesses generate invoices, payment reminder letters, sales brochures, emails, balance sheets, spreadsheets, and reports; all are necessary to running your business. Small business document management refers to how you create, share, organize and store these documents for your business. With effective document management, you’ll be more efficient with your time and more consistent with your client experience.

Clean out your filing cabinet and remove documents that you no longer need on hand. You can destroy unneeded documents and rotate files you need to keep to a long-term storage solution. Like your filing cabinet, it might be time to go through your hard drive or cloud storage solution, removing files you don’t need and archiving completed projects.

If all of your documents such as receipts, bills, invoices, proposals and estimates are all over the place or crammed in shoe boxes, it’s time to consider an online document management solution. Tools such as Dropbox and Hubdoc coupled with a document scanner help you manage, organize and archive your business documents.

Lastly, if you use templates for sales emails, proposals, estimates and invoices then review them now to make certain all of the information is current and consistent across documents. While it may seem trivial, a consistent look and feel across client facing documentation instills a sense of trust in you and your business.


The 8 Characters that Kill a Sales Team

As a business owner, chances are you are used to being the one that gets it done. You drive the sales, you travel the miles, you push harder than anyone in your company - and when payroll comes around, you are one that makes sure that the money is there. No one will be surprised to hear that you bring a bigger passion to the table than anyone else in your firm, but if you are the only true driver you are headed directly into years of frustration and even failure.

It’s a huge step when you a hire sales staff, after all, you are trusting someone to go out there with your baby and trust that they will do the right thing. Now, you are managing everything you were before, while onboarding new sales staff who need deep engagement with and education about your product and brand and managing their numbers, creating a sales culture, ensuring effective collaboration with marketing, and….now you are hiding under your desk. It’s ok….come out....you don’t have to carry this alone.

We see business owners go through a range of emotions when the pipeline needs to grow. See if you recognize any of these characters:

  • The Imposter: You have been making this business happen through sheer force of will and sell well because you know every inch of your business, but that doesn’t mean that you see yourself as a salesperson or leader.
  • The Overwhelmed: If there are 17 hats in your business, you are wearing at least 14 of them. Adding the large time commitment of hiring, onboarding, and managing a salesperson or team could only make the stack topple.
  • The Aggressor: With consistently underperforming sales, you are losing your ability to maintain patience with your sales staff and you are constantly doing mental gymnastics going back and forth between firing the underperforming or just pushing them harder to get the results that you need. The sales staff becomes the pack of kids that are always in trouble, but there isn’t enough time to train or coach them out of it, and hostility is more and more a part of your interactions (or at least inner monologue)
  • The Incredulous: I don’t need accountability, I don’t need hand-holding, training or coaching, why do they?
  • The Blind: With no central tracking system I couldn’t see the sales pipeline if I wanted to, but I have no idea how to pick the right CRM or how to program it to get the information needed to make the proper assessments and plans. And IF I do get it going, how do I not only train the team but keep them engaged with it?!
  • The Rivet Catcher: You know that there are opportunities everywhere, but with BIG sales, current clients, past clients, new markets and new trends you are constantly staring up and hoping to reach out and catch what is falling instead of being able to distribute a plan.
  • The Transformer: You see your industry moving from transactional sales to relationship-based sales but with a team that has been pushing papers for years, do you wipe the sales staff out and start over or teach the old dogs new tricks?
  • The Bootstrapper: If you had a few hundred grand to toss into a new sales program, you might not need to lean so hard on the sales staff anyway. You need to find a financially viable way to get the right people in the right roles to move the sales team forward and start producing results.

Find yourself nodding (or shaking your head in commiseration) with some of the points above? Don’t beat yourself up, every business experiences this growing pain. But, don’t wait for the answer to come find you, reach out and learn about how our Fractional VP of Sales services can support you to create, empower and maintain a successful sales force and give you the keys to keep the sales machine running when you are ready for it.

Call us today at 312.720.1399


How to Do Email Marketing Effectively When You’re a Small Marketing Department

 

If you want to learn how to do email marketing effectively, then understand there is no one thing that will ensure success. It’s a balance of strategy, techniques and execution. Here is an overview specifically designed for 1- to 3-person marketing departments.

Email is such an ubiquitous part of our lives that it’s often overlooked by marketers. There are bigger, shinier strategies and tactics that always seem to command the lion’s share of attention.

But email marketing should be an integral part of your approach — the numbers say it’s the most important.  Let’s shed some light on why email is so critical, and the steps a small marketing department can take to make your approach effective.

For this post, I received some great insights from folks who really know their email marketing (listed in order of appearance):

Jessica Best, Director of Data-Driven Marketing, Barkley
Gini Dietrich, Founder and author of Spin Sucks
Megan Robinson, VP Marketing of @revenue

How effective is email marketing?

Throughout this post, we’re going to use the word “effective.”  That’s because “effective” is defined as “successful at producing a desired or intended result.”  And that’s what this stuff called marketing is all about — results, right?

Consider some of the industry statistics that reveal how widespread email usage is, and how effective email marketing can be:

  • According to Statista, a total of 96% of agencies were going to either increase (48%) or maintain (48%) their spending on email in 2017.
  • The number of email users worldwide is expected to rise to 2.9 billion users by 2019, according to Statisa.  (In comparison, there are 2 billion Facebook users as of Q3 2017.)

When agencies increase spending, you know it's working.

What do the numbers tell me?  When 96% of agencies increase or maintain their spending on email marketing, you know it’s working.  And when a medium is 2.9 times bigger than Facebook, that tells you that it is still the biggest game in town.

Effective strategies, tips and techniques for email marketing

In creating a post about how to do email marketing effectively, you can’t possibly include everything. What we’ve attempted to do in this post is focus on the critical elements a small marketing department should focus on; you can build on this to refine your approach.

1. Don’t buy a list — EVER

Let’s cross off the first thing that comes to many marketers’ minds:  Should I buy a list of email addresses and email them?

According to Jessica Best, the answer is quite simple: NO. Besides this being ridiculously intrusive for the end user, you also run a big risk of being labeled a spammer by email service providers, which means you could be blacklisted and your emails will go NOWHERE.

The spammer threshold is .1%

(Read more from Jessica in What Email Marketers (Still) Don’t Know They Don’t Know.)

If you really want to build a list, provide content and information that is of value to the customer.  Share with them how you’ll solve their problems. People want answers, not SPAM.

2. Don’t just say “subscribe” or “get updates”

How many websites have you seen that ask for your email for “updates,” but don’t tell you what you’ll get in return?

Be sure you give them a solid reason to sign up, especially telling them the frequency of the emails. People like to get their Sunday morning paper on Sunday, after all. (I’m referring to newspapers – do people get newspapers anymore?)

Give them a reason to subscribe

3. If you automate, use “value forward” content to aid in the buying decision and stay in front of prospects

If someone signed up for an email, it’s likely that they are in the early stages of the buying process.  You can use automation to set up a string of emails that will go out right after someone signs up for a download.

However, these emails need to be “value forward,” as Jessica Best puts it. Sure you can sell product, but think about your customer and their buying process.  What would add value to their decision?  Knowing more about you?  Seeing customer reviews, or comparisons to your competition?

Any types of follow-ups should lead them through their Customer Journey, ultimately to a purchase. But you have to present something of value each step of the way.

You also can’t wait to follow up, as Gini Dietrich tells us:

A good majority of organizations have an email sign-up on their site without a single email that follows. Sure, you may send a monthly email, but what if that’s 29 days from now? Will the person remember who you are 29 days from now? It’s doubtful. Create a 7- or 10-day email campaign for your new subscribers. The first one should be delivered immediately after they subscribe.

Create a new subscriber email campaign.

4. Segment your list and personalize your messages

Different offers on your website can mean different things.  Create different email lists based on the reason why people signed up.  Do they just want to read your new blog posts?  Are they interested in buying your product or service?

If you have different segments, you can tailor your emails to those segments.  For a small marketing department, this is the first step toward speaking directly to what your target needs.

Segmentation is different than personalization, as noted in this great post by Jason Grunberg, who explains the difference between personalization and segmentation.

True personalization, beyond just inserting a contact’s name, involves delivering email content based on a client’s past actions, as explained by Active Campaign’s Brian Gadu in this post. Ultimately, this improves your deliverability and your standing in the eyes of email providers.

Grunberg and Gadu both indicate that personalized emails (one version for one person) are going to overtake grouped segmented emails.

For a small marketing department, this granularity should be the ultimate goal, but it won’t happen overnight. Start by segmenting your list, then work toward personalization.

(Check out more examples in Jessica’s post on 6 Steps to Putting Data to Work in Email Marketing.)

5. Let unsubscribe rates dictate how much you should send

A common question among marketers: How much email is too much?  We’re all inundated with email, and you want to be sure your email gets opened and that you’re not annoying.

Whatever you do, don’t make your decision based on what YOU think is too much.  Let your prospects make the decision.

Reevaluate if unsubscribes get too high.

You can do this by focusing on your unsubscribe rate.  You want your unsubscribe rates to be below 1% of your list. If your rates creep north of that number, it’s time to reevaluate your content and the rate at which you’re emailing.

6. Use your blog content to make an eNewsletter

Creating a monthly eNewsletter can produce numerous benefits.  As Megan Robinson of @revenue details in this post (with stats to back up her point), those benefits include:

  • Keeps your business top of mind
  • Engages your audience
  • Deepens your relationship with customers

But sending out regular emails — at the very least, once a month — can seem tedious if you’re trying to create new content all the time.

One method that’s effective is to turn off the auto notification from your blog, and instead route sign-ups to a special list on your email service.  Then, once a month, compile your blog posts into a newsletter and send it to prospects.

It’s a great way to share content for prospects just entering the sales funnel, or add in some new product promos to keep them posted on new sales.

An eNewsletter is a great way to share content.

7. Deliver your downloadable offer via email

Let’s say you’re providing a piece of content for a visitor to download, like a PDF guide. Should you make that available on a thank you page, after the person signs up for the offer?

Jessica recommends sending it out via your follow-up email.  The recipient is very likely to open and engage with your email, and that helps Google recognize that the recipient wants your content. They’ll more likely “green light” your future emails, so always deliver your offers by email!

8. Build your list using different techniques

There are a million ways to build your list, but here are a few that have proven effective for us:

Feature a downloadable offer with a sign-up form as well: Many will argue that all your content should be ungated, but Jessica believes that you still should have lead forms in front of a valuable piece.  “As long as it’s valuable, it doesn’t cost that person a whole lot to give up their email in exchange for the content,” she said.

Co-Op/Ad Swap: Partner with a relevant/complementary business or product. Create an email for a partner or complementary business. They will mail your message to their email list, then you respond in-kind.

These are just foundational suggestions.  To really drive email sign-ups, check out this amazing post from Robbie Richards.

9. Feature an email sign-up in your website’s footer

We get a surprising amount of sign-ups with our email subscriber box in the footer, and it’s pretty logical when you think about it. A person reads the page, likes the content, and when they scroll to the bottom, BLAM, you’ve got the sign-up form.

Because it’s in the footer, you also have an automatic guarantee it’s on every page of your site.

Feature email sign-up in your site's footer

10. Include an opt-in checkbox on your contact form

Besides the sign-up forms on your site, you can also add an opt-in checkbox to your contact forms. You may think these people want info. right away, but this gives you a method to follow up with them and keep them on the list. It also puts them in control of whether or not they want to receive more information.

opt-in form

(Opt-in form courtesy of Pinpointe.com.)

11. Control when notifications are sent out about a new blog post

When your developer sets up your blog subscription form, don’t use a plug-in from the content management system. Keep all of your subscribers in your email marketing platform so you can control when and how they see your latest.

Auto-notification plug-ins just grab the headline of your post and make it the headline of the article. But your article headline might not make for a good email headline, and you may also want to include a teaser message to your readers to get them to check it out.

Andy Crestodina does a great job with this. Notice his email has a headline written specifically for email. His blog post title, which likely includes very specific keywords and structure, probably would not be as effective.

Article headline may not match email headline

12. Avoid getting labeled a SPAMMER

It’s very easy for someone to label you a SPAMMER, and as we touched on earlier, that’s someplace you definitely don’t want to go.

So how do you do it?  First of all, play nice. Use common sense tactics not to SPAM. If someone gives you a business card at a lunch, that’s not an automatic OK to add them to your eNewsletter list.  Send them the link to subscribe, and let them take it from there.

Some other tactics include:

Always include an unsubscribe link and a physical mailing address with your emails. Most email services will build this into your template, in compliance with CAN-SPAM law.

Be sure you’re sending from a professional SMTP server. Any email marketing platform like Active Campaign, MailChimp, Constant Contact will be compliant.

Easy on the images: Include enough text that a spam filter can “read” what your email is about. Too many images can get a can of SPAM thrown at you.

Avoid the SPAMMY words:  Using these words in moderation won’t get you labeled a spammer, but too many can land you in trouble.  Here’s a great list from Karen Rubin of HubSpot.

13. Ensure it’s mobile-friendly

Litmus’ Email Analytics tracks open emails from over 1.4 billion sent emails. They reported that emails opened on mobile devices was 56% of all emails sent.  Make sure your emails, and the service you’re sending them from, are mobile-friendly!

Megan Robinson, @revenue

Check out Megan’s article on Google’s Mobile First Initiative:

14. Create a great email – include excellent content

Oh yeah!  That stuff.  What you want to, you know, say to people. I guess that matters too, right?

Back in the days of direct mail, there was a 40-40-20 rule. Your success was determined by: 40% by the list; 40% by the offer; and 20% by the creative. Here’s a great post by Eunice Brownlee that refines that formula for email marketing today, but essentially the idea remains the same.

So what makes for an effective email?

Focus on the subject line:  If you want people to get into your email, you need to open that front door. So create an excellent subject line. Check out insights from Charlie Meyerson on how to do it right!

Keep it short and focused: You want a clear intent with your email, and you want someone to take an action as a result of it. Keep your content skimmable; 1-3 lines of copy, and avoid the bulky paragraphs.

These shorter segments can then link out to longer content.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make with email is sending all of the content in the email. Don’t do that! It doesn’t encourage engagement, nor can you track effectiveness,” says Gini Dietrich.

“And always remember: Your email content is about THEM, not you. No one cares about your new hires, your new contracts, or your awards. What they do care about is how you can help them.”

15. Make Call-To-Action prominent

You want to take them somewhere, give them a big, bold CTA.  And use a contrasting color, so it really stands out.

Make the CTA button big and bold

16. Metrics: How do you measure email marketing success

Here are the big ones we really keep an eye on:

Click-through rates: Really, at the end of the day, it’s all about sales, right?  So you’d ultimately want to see how many people are clicking through to your site.  Open rates are great and could potentially generate some brand equity, but you want people to get to your site.

If you can track the email traffic all the way to a conversion in the form of a lead or purchase, that’s the ultimate goal!

Unsubscribe rates:  You definitely don’t want that number to incline. It’s a good indication you’re either sending out too frequently, or your content quality is off.  According to Jessica Best, the average unsubscribe rate is .5%, and just make sure you don’t creep north of 1%.

Track through UTM tagging:  This isn’t a metric, but a methodology to track your email visits from Google analytics. If you don’t use UTM tagging on your links, then GA will count the visit as “Direct” and not an email.

17. Test, test and test some more

Hate to date myself (someone’s got to), but when I was writing direct mail copy for a big insurance company, we would roll out $10,000 tests on a changed headline.  That’s still done today, but with email, you can make instant changes and improve your open rate.

Megan Robinson digs deeper into the subject for us:

Most email service providers have subject line testing already built in and can be one of the best ways to immediately improve your email. A/B Testing is when you send a percentage of your audience 2 different subject lines. After a predetermined time (~4 hours) the subject line that received the highest open rate within the test group will be sent automatically to the remaining audience.

Subject line testing is powerful.

Subject line testing allows for instant optimization, but can also teach a lot about your audience. Try testing with a specific hypothesis in mind. Does your audience like it when you use emojis? Are they more offer- or relationship-focused?”

Email marketing is a journey

Like everything in this digital marketing game, your success rate will be a function of time. No one expects you to hit it right out of the park, right from the start.

Use these foundations as your launchpad, then tap into the experts in this article to learn more and improve your efforts.  Effective emails are all about results — follow these tips, techniques and strategies and you’ll be on your way.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 9.38.09 PM

For the original blog, click here.


Ensure 2018 Measures Up: What to watch, do and look for in your marketing

 

With all the time, energy and money that goes into marketing, it’s critical you know what you are getting out of it. The team at @revenue put together our top tips and notes to ensure your 2018 marketing plan is measuring up.

Social Media

Successful social media is so much more than how many people like or follow you. The success is in building a community who interacts, shares and ultimately, buys. How do you know you're building a community?

  1. Go beyond vanity metrics (page views, number of followers). They may feel great, but the point of social media is to be SOCIAL!
  2. Carve out time in your calendar to engage and connect with those in your community. The more you engage, the more engagement you can expect from them.
  3. Monitor the actions people take on your content and the conversations people are having with you and one another. Leverage free tools like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram for Business and LinkedIn post analytics to find more meaning in your measurement.

You can't just post articles and content, you have to connect and engage to be the most effective on social media. Connect with Sue Koch to identify the best ways to build your audience, respect your tribe and make sure to have fun with it for your needs!

 

Email

Email metrics are widely available through your email service provider, but there are a couple of key things to keep your eye on. Ensure your email is as effective as possible by measuring, optimizing and improving key elements.

  1. Make sure your emails are getting read by monitoring your open rate. Try testing subject lines and your from line to optimize visibility. It doesn’t hurt to throw in an emoji here and there! ????
  2. Your next level of engagement are your clickers. All of your emails should have very specific calls to action that will engage your audience brings them that much closer to a sale. Be sure to make your email clickable by linking images, headlines and large buttons. The more options they have to click, the more clicks you get.
  3. Less common than clicking, some recipients will actually reply to your marketing email! This is much less frequent than just clicking but provides the highest level of engagement. Be sure to respond quickly and take advantage of the outreach.

You don't need the fanciest, most advanced email servicer to make a big impact in your marketing campaign. Talk with Megan Robinson today to effectively engage, connect, and rank your email list!

 

Search Engine Optimization  

Getting on Google search's first page is the name of the game. We measure SEO success by our keyword rankings (the higher the better), volume of targeted traffic (the more the better), and the number of conversions on the site.  

  1. SEO success is ultimately measured by how well your website ranks for specific keywords. Make sure you are looking for consistent improvement month over month and maintain your position.
  2. Although ranking well is important, we do it to get more website traffic. Be sure to monitor the traffic you receive and the quality of it. Is your bounce rate increasing? Is your time on the site getting shorter? Make sure that the traffic you are getting is of high quality.
  3. We not only want to rank well and get quality traffic to the site, but we also want to make sure that traffic is converting. Whether making a purchase, filling out a contact form or picking up the phone and making a call, visitor conversion is the ultimate goal and indicator of SEO success.

 

Networking

Effective networking is every bit as critical to your success as a solid digital presence. If you are sitting in your office relying solely on your website to fill your pipeline you will have a lot of really good opportunities to organize your office supplies! But how do you quantify effective networking? It takes some elbow grease but when you have an additional 30-50% of your leads coming from the relationships that you've built, you will be singing a different tune!

  1. Identify organizations that cater to your specific verticals or sizes of business. Associations should be a part of your research, not just Chambers of Commerce or high priced networking opportunities.
  2. Try it, track it, change it. You must have a system (CRM, spreadsheet or other) that allows you to track what your investment in the networking is. This includes travel time, time at events, follow up time, etc. Use your hourly rate to calculate your total investment and after 6 months compare that to the anticipated value of leads received. Check this number every six months.
  3. Keep in mind that Strategic Partners (those that can refer you LOTS of business) are often as valuable if not more than just one lead. These are the folks that you build deeper, long-term relationships with, invest your time and track the results. You will get a stronger ROI and create a more significant network than just hoping to get leads from events.

If you aren't tracking your results from networking, you are simply socializing. Make sure that you give your effort the proper value!

 


Oh you don't do 'business cards'? Greeeeat.

 

If you have been out networking lately, you may have come across a new kind of networker. The ultra-cool, tech-savvy business professional that no longer involves themselves with the incumbrances of archaic tools such as...the business card.

Typically, you will get a response like, “Oh, yeah, I don’t DO business cards, but I will find you on LinkedIn” or my favorite (and yes, this is a true story) “If people want to find me, they’ll find me. Just remember who I am and search for me”. I kid you not. Allow me to share with you why this is not only an ineffective business practice but is, for all intents and purposes, blatant poor manners.

If you are at an event where business building is the purpose, others have come with the intention of connecting with you, engaging with you, (if you are in the right group) finding ways to connect you and following up with you. Not having a business card forces that other person to either find a place to make a note on how to find you or who they wanted to connect you with. This is a person that WANTS to be of service to you, to help you, or to send you business...why make them work for it?

If you are going to connect to them via LinkedIn, that only creates more work for you. Typically, the connection starts with a connection request and then an IM and then eventually it moves into an email or phone conversation. If you have a card, that person not only has a physical representation of your brand but a way to reach out to you without having to search all over the place or wait for you to connect with them. In networking, effective follow up is the name of the game, and your lack of card starts you out with a disability.  

In the professional networking world, brand and first impressions are EVERYTHING. They are the first step in establishing trust, integrity, and professionalism. It’s such a small investment that has such a huge payoff. Once that card is in someone else’s hand it also allows you to track things like:

  • Do they follow up like they said that they would?
  • Do they remember what I do and does my card give them enough info to remember?
  • How many cards am I going through vs. how many people am I truly connecting with?

Being able to effectively measure your efforts is key to business building, and if all it takes is a solid business card, isn’t it worth it?

Need help with your networking strategies, brand or a new business card? We’d be happy to help!  marie@atrevneue.com


3 Reasons Why That Newsletter is So Important

Email marketing can do a lot for small businesses. It helps nurture new leads, drives sales, promotes products and services, and builds loyalty. Notice how I mentioned more than just sales? That’s because marketing isn’t only about the bottom line, but contributing to the bottom line. Some email messages, such as promotions, are specifically designed to drive sales, but others, such as newsletters have other important functions.

Here are 3 things email newsletters do to help your business:

1.     Keep your business top of mind. Newsletters are a great way to keep your business in the forefront of your customer’s mind by simply being there. Email is one of the most efficient and effective ways of getting your brand in front of your audience, and newsletters are a great and consistent way to get their attention.

57% of email subscribers spend

10-60 minutes browsing marketing emails during the week.

(Source: today  willChoozOn)

Yes, we get a lot of emails, but we all spend time browsing, reviewing and evaluating them. Make sure your business has visibility where your customers are spending their time.

2.     Engage your audience. Newsletters are great for customer engagement when they are full of information that customers want to read. Why would you want to engage your audience? The more engagement with your business, the more customers connect. The deeper that connection, the more likely they are to purchase.

63% of people requesting information on today will not purchase

for at least three months, and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy.

(Source: Marketing Donut)

Statistics like this reminds us that the customer journey is just that – a journey. Customers need time to make purchasing decisions. By engaging your audience through the purchase decision, you have a far better chance of them ultimately buying from you.

3.     Deepen your relationship with customers. Newsletters are all about providing information to your customer. In our customer-centric environment, this communication is critical to help build the relationship. Plus, they are a great way to share your business values, differentiators and personality. Allowing your customers to learn more about you and your company improves loyalty and increases sales.

When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from,

90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook.

(Source: Nielsen Norman Group)

If good marketing is talking to the right audience, with the right message, at the right time, why not send a newsletter? The more connected the audience is, the more they begin to view your business less as a commodity and more as a partnership.

Newsletters are just one of the many different types of email marketing messages businesses can send. If you would like to learn more about email marketing and how it can help your business, contact our team today!