@AskJamieTurner http://60secondmarketer.com/blog Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:53:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 How to Differentiate Your Brand from Your Competitors http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/20/business-card-ideas/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/20/business-card-ideas/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:53:13 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=12052 We spend most of our time on the 60 Second Marketer talking about digital marketing. Whether is a post about 50 Indispensable Facts About Social Media or 50 Insanely Easy Ways to Get Started With Mobile Marketing, we’ve got you covered. But every so often we like to zig instead of zag. After all, if...

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We spend most of our time on the 60 Second Marketer talking about digital marketing. Whether is a post about 50 Indispensable Facts About Social Media or 50 Insanely Easy Ways to Get Started With Mobile Marketing, we’ve got you covered.

But every so often we like to zig instead of zag. After all, if 100% of our posts were about digital marketing, you might get bored, right?

So, with that in mind, let’s talk about something you haven’t been focusing enough attention on lately — your business cards.

And by business card, I’m not talking about cheesy, flimsy, cheap business cards. Instead, I’m talking about business cards that help you stand out and make an impact.

How to Put a New Twist on an Old Tool

According to my friend Sarah Zimmerman at Plastic Printers, there are approximately 28,000,000 business cards printed every single day.

Seriously?

But wait, it gets even crazier — there are over 10 billion printed every year!

Business cards are an important part of your brand identity, but its one that’s often overlooked.

With that in mind, I jumped at the opportunity to have Plastic Printers make some fun, engaging business cards for my company. Here’s what they look like.

Image of sample business card idea

As you can tell, I didn’t shy away from doing something fun and interesting. But what you can’t see in the image above is that business card is clear. In other words, when you hold the business card up to someone, it looks as though they are wearing glasses and have a mustache.

My thinking was that if I can get someone to spend a few minutes with me interacting with my business card, it will create a memory about the event in their brain. And when a memory is created, I know they’ll remember me when I send them something via email a few days later.

Here’s how the business card looks when it’s used at a trade show or business meeting.

Image of fun business card idea

See how that works? By doing something a little different and a little outrageous, I’m able to stand out from all the other people in the crowd.

Doing something slightly outrageous has worked for GeekSquad, ToysRUs and Virgin, right? Why shouldn’t it work for your company, too?

How to Make Your Business Card Stand Out

Here are some tips and techniques you can use to make your business card stand out.

  • Keep it simple
    • Although it is tempting to include every mode of communication, including lots of information will overwhelm the card.
  • Include bold design
    • Bold designs and colors will help gain interest
  • Brand it with your colors
    • Don’t have brand colors – find yours here
  • Include your logo
    • This is important for brand recognition (although my logo isn’t included above, but hey, I’m a rule breaker)
  • Don’t forget the details
    • Full Name
    • Business Name and Title
    • Direct Phone Number
    • Email Address
    • Physical Address
  • Make it clear
    • A great way to stand out from stacks of old fashioned paper cards is to use a medium that most people have not seen such as clear plastic business cards
  • Make it multipurpose
    • Give your potential client a reason to keep your card. Think rulers, Membership/VIP card, discount card and more.
  • Don’t skimp on quality
    • When looking at business cards and the amount that you will spend on them it is easy to choose a lower priced card that will ‘fit in your budget.’ When you are considering your business card as just a way to relay your contact information you are really missing out on a large opportunity. For instance, let’s say that you invest in a high quality card that is a little pricier than one of those 500 cards for $10 places. When you hand that card to a potential, they are going to remember it and even better they will hang onto it

Those are just some of the tips on creating fun, engaging and memorable business cards. I’m sure you have a few tips of your own. If so, feel free to share them in our comments section below.

See you next time!

 

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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How to Improve Your Marketing ROI by Targeting the Secondary Shopper http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/17/shopper-insights-study/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/17/shopper-insights-study/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 23:29:35 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=12041 Did you know that 29% of women worry that their husbands will get something wrong when shopping? That’s just one of the findings from a consumer behavior study shared with us by our friends at 22squared. The research, conducted with over 500 shoppers in the U.S., also found that while 72% of those surveyed said they...

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Did you know that 29% of women worry that their husbands will get something wrong when shopping? That’s just one of the findings from a consumer behavior study shared with us by our friends at 22squared.

The research, conducted with over 500 shoppers in the U.S., also found that while 72% of those surveyed said they were the primary shopper, 82% actually shared in the responsibility for shopping.

Research on shoppers

Interestingly, 38% of the men surveyed were quick to admit their wives pitched in on the shopping, while only 18% of the women admitted their husbands pitched in. What’s more, unlike other shared duties like paying bills or picking up the children, household shopping isn’t something couples consciously plan for.

Here’s a quote from one of the women in the study:

Being a team is part of being married. No one said, ‘Here’s how you’re doing to divide up the shopping.’ It happened organically and it works.

– Female, 38

The study also took a look at how people shop when they’re in-store. For example, the graphic below highlights how collaboration varies across different categories of retail stores.

Chart with shopping research

Here’s some additional good news in the research — 79% of respondents are satisfied with the shared involvement and are even grateful to have a teammate to lean on. And 65% would shop together more often if they had more time.

The study also concluded that there are 6 different kinds of team shoppers, outlined in the chart below.

Team Shopping Graphic

Why does all this matter? The research found that effective teams make more valuable shoppers. In fact, those who shop as an effective team are 20% more likely to love shopping at your store (which, of course, means they’re more likely to come back).

Data about shoppers

 

The study from 22squared is packed with interesting information and insights. If you’re a business owner an you’re interested in improving the results of your next marketing campaign, check out this information-packed infographic or view the accompanying SlideShare presentation.

 

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

Book by Jamie Turner

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50 Indispensable Facts About Social Media http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/16/50-facts-about-social-media/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/16/50-facts-about-social-media/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 02:51:44 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=12026 When I was working on the new edition of How to Make Money with Social Media, I pulled together a list of facts about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and a whole slew of other social media platforms. I thought you might find the data and information helpful, perhaps in a blog post, SlideShare deck or...

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When I was working on the new edition of How to Make Money with Social Media, I pulled together a list of facts about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and a whole slew of other social media platforms.

I thought you might find the data and information helpful, perhaps in a blog post, SlideShare deck or speech of your own. With that in mind, what follows are 50 interesting facts about social media that might surprise you.

  • In the three minutes it takes you to read this blog post, 300 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube. (Source: Mashable)
  • 44 percent of users on Twitter have never sent a tweet. (Source: Social Times)
  • Facebook owns a massive number of anti-Facebook domains, including IHateTheFacebookLikeButton.com. (Source: Mashable)
  • 74% of online adults use social networking sites. (Source: Pew)

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  • If Wikipedia were a book it would be more than two billion pages. (Source: IACP)
  • LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook. (Source: Huffington Post)
  • People are spending 1 out of every 7 minutes on Facebook when online. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • 80% of all Pinterest pins are actually repins. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American. (Source: Pew)
  • It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users; Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year. (Source: IACP)
  • 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions. (Source: CeBIT)

Facebook Engagement

  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. (Source: Socialnomics)
  • Facebook users typically are spending 10.5 billion minutes (almost 20,000 years) on the social network. And, that’s excluding mobile devices. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • Every minute, Tumblr owners publish approximately 27,778 new blog posts. (Source: IACP)
  • Mothers with children under the age of 5 are the most active on social media (Source: Experian)
  • 1 in 5 new couples met online. (Source: Socialnomics)
  • There are 1 billion “likes” daily on Instagram. (Source: Instagram)
  • 71% of consumers that receive a quick brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others. (Source: CeBIT)
  • Social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • In the first 24 hours after launching its video-sharing capabilities, Instagram users uploaded 5 million videos. (Source: IACP)
  • The majority of people in one survey said they don’t believe Facebook ads are trustworthy. (Source: CeBIT)
  • 189 million Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only.’ (Source: IACP)
  • Every second, 2 new members join LinkedIn. (Source: Huffington Post)
  • YouTube has more than a billion unique users per month which equates to nearly half of all internet users. (Source: IACP)
  • 53% of millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology. (Source: Socialnomics)
  • Facebook users watch more than 500 years’ worth of YouTube video every day. (Source: IACP)
  • 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online. (Source: CeBIT)
  • There are over 10 million Facebook apps. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • Food is the top category on Pinterest, making up 57% of discussions. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • 500 new Facebook accounts are added every minute. (Source: IACP)
  • LinkedIn has over 3 million company pages with over 1 billion endorsements. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • Emails with social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by 158%. (Source: CeBIT)
  • 50,000 links are shared every minute on Facebook. (Source: IACP)

Image of Twitter data

  • The “like” button is clicked 3,125,000 times every minute on Facebook. (Source: IACP)
  • 1 in 5 divorces involve social media. (Source: Socialnomics)
  • Twitter handles more search queries per month than Bing and Yahoo combined. (Source: IACP)
  • There are 684,478 pieces of content shared on Facebook, 3,600 new photos on Instagram; and 2,083 check-ins on Foursquare during every minute of every day. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • As of June 2014, Facebook drove 23.39% of internet traffic. (Source: IACP)
  • 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations; only 14% trust advertisements. (Source: Socialnomics)
  • Social media accounts for more than one in every four minute. (Source: IACP)
  • People are spending 1 out of every 7 minutes on Facebook when online. Facebook users typically are spending 10.5 billion minutes (almost 20,000 years) on the social network. And, that’s excluding mobile devices. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • Each minute, 243,055.5 photos are uploaded to Facebook. (Source: IACP)
  • YouTube has over 1 billion unique visitors per month. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • Each minute, 150,000 messages are sent on Facebook. (Source: IACP)
  • 43% of online adults over the age of 65 use social networking sites. (Source: IACP)
  • “Selfie” is now a word in Webster. (Source: Socialnomics)
  • Users send out 58 million tweets per day, with 9,100 happening every second. However, there are 222 million Twitters who just watch other people’s tweets. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • 93% of shopper’s buying decisions are influenced by social media. (Source: Socialnomics)
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business; only 9% of marketing companies have full time bloggers. (Source: Huffington Post)

I hope you find these facts and figures helpful. Feel free to use the data in your blogs, SlideShare decks and speeches. And let us know about any other interesting social media facts you hear about!

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

Book by Jamie Turner

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Why Bose Should Invest in Fan Conversation, Not Lawyers http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/12/bose-invest-fan-conversation-lawyers/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/12/bose-invest-fan-conversation-lawyers/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 02:03:07 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=12020 NFL fans suddenly have a lot to say about Bose headphones. Unfortunately for the brand, none of it is going to help them increase sales. The NFL confirmed last week that Bose would be exercising its right as the league’s “official audio provider” to keep rival headphones out of the picture. From now on, you...

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NFL fans suddenly have a lot to say about Bose headphones. Unfortunately for the brand, none of it is going to help them increase sales.

The NFL confirmed last week that Bose would be exercising its right as the league’s “official audio provider” to keep rival headphones out of the picture. From now on, you won’t be seeing your quarterback wear Beats by Dre headphones during any post-game interviews. Instead, the only headphones you’ll see onscreen from a player’s pre-kickoff ritual to 90 minutes after the game, between pre-season training and the Super Bowl, will be Bose.

Not because the players prefer the brand. Because they are contractually forbidden from wearing anything else.

Not surprisingly, Bose’s heavy-handed marketing tactics aren’t sitting well with either of the company’s main target groups: NFL fans and audiophiles.

“Just think of wearing Bose headphones as an NFL player like wearing a McDonald’s visor while [you are) working the drive-through,” wrote one commenter on Endgadget.

“Better sound through marketing,” quipped another on Deadspin.

Ouch.

Bose makes a great product. I have three pairs myself. However as the C.E.O. of a word-of-mouth marketing agency, it pains me to see good brands start bad conversations about themselves. The key to word-of-mouth marketing is getting consumers to share stories about why they love your product or service. There are a few simple steps to making that happen—and not one of them is “use lawyers.”

If you want people, particularly influencers, to share stories about your brand, you need to give them stories that check three boxes. These stories must be interesting, relevant and authentic. Influencers—people who love to tell others about the coolest stuff to buy and do—don’t share stories that they don’t think will be interesting and relevant to their listener. Otherwise they risk boring them and losing their audience (influencers need an audience like football fans need large-screen TVs).

But most important, a shareable brand story must be authentic. “All my friends swear by their Samsung Galaxy.” “My grandmother says that the Bissell Sweeper is the only sure way to get Christmas tree needles out of that rug.” “Every cop I know swears by his Maglight so they must be tough.”

There is nothing authentic about forcing professional athletes to wear your headphones. No audiophile or NFL fan will ever tell his friends to try these headphones because he saw a linebacker switch brands to avoid paying a league fine. Today’s sophisticated consumer knows the difference between an authentic endorsement and a paid-for visual. It’s the former that gains more customers, not the later.

The truly sad part is that Bose has long built its reputation on world-class audio engineering and then having consumers share their experiences with others. Remember those little cards about Bose that the company includes in each case so when someone asks you about your headphones you can share the info with them quickly and get back to what you are doing?

I can’t recall a single celebrity spokesperson who made me want to buy a Bose product but I do know a dozen business travelers and/or musicians who travel more than I do and they all use and talk about Bose so that’s why I bought mine.

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At the heart of Bose’s brand is a very authentic story: “People who really know music will pay more to have the best equipment.” Finding ways to have more conversations with consumers about that story is a better use of resources than taking away players headphones like some kind of elementary school hall monitor.

Better sound through marketing, as the Deadspin commentator put it, that’s the other guy’s game. The biggest knock on Beats by Dre has always been that the sound doesn’t match the hype. Thus Bose is already well positioned to dethrone its competitor—it just has to do what it does best, which is make great headphones, and encourage Bose fans to share with others why they love Bose.

Of course, Beats is currently the 800-pound-gorilla of the headphone world. It owns 61 percent of the over-$100 headphone market, whereas Bose owns just 22 percent, according to market research firm NPD Group. People also used to buy a lot of Reebok Pumps, Chrysler cars and listen to disco. This too shall pass.

Why rely on rule of law when you could rely on referrals from friends, which we all know in the social-media age is far more effective than traditional, top-down marketing? Bose should be using its money to live up to its slogan and encourage others to share what is interesting, relevant and authentic about their product. That is the path to success in today’s market.

Ted Wright is CEO of Fizz, a word-of-mouth marketing firm in Atlanta, Georgia. His book, Fizz: Harness the Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth, is now available at fine book sellers nationwide.

 

 

 

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7 Secret Ingredients of an Impeccable Sales Email http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/10/7-secret-ingredients-impeccable-sales-email/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/10/7-secret-ingredients-impeccable-sales-email/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 01:56:35 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11855 Email is the first port of call for most sales and marketing teams in the B2B realm owing to its ease of use, comparatively low technology requirements, and the quick turnaround time that it affords. Whether it is a cold call or a pitch, a follow-up with a lead or nurturing a potential customer, handling...

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Email is the first port of call for most sales and marketing teams in the B2B realm owing to its ease of use, comparatively low technology requirements, and the quick turnaround time that it affords.

Whether it is a cold call or a pitch, a follow-up with a lead or nurturing a potential customer, handling an existing customer or offering service to an existing one, email allows marketers to handle each task with élan.

B2C marketing teams are not too far behind in their use of email in their marketing. As a conversion tool, email marketing has proven itself over the years to be highly effective. What’s more, over 52% of all marketers increased their email marketing budgets in 2014.

A recent Email Marketing Benchmarks Study by eMarketer reports that: “The average order value from customers acquired via email is also 17% higher than those acquired from social media channels.”

Email marketing is easy to measure and analyze, which makes it unparalleled in its ability to help us understand where sales are coming from. And email marketing makes sense for both the B2C world and the B2B world. After all, the final readers in both cases are individuals so the effect of media channels on them ought to be similar.

What follows are 7 secrets you can use in your email marketing to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

  1. Get inside the mind of your prospective customers

An email campaign is only as good as the research that goes into it.

In a B2B scenario, study your client’s business inside out. Understand what their pain points are, what their victories were, what they are currently working on. All of these will help you get a sense of what to offer to the client and be more relevant to their immediate needs.

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A B2C campaign needs to send targeted communications to its users based on the wealth of big data that they have at their disposal. An email campaign promoting women’s running shoes to a male athlete is a waste of time and effort. Worse, it tells the user that you have no clue about their real needs, prompting them to ignore future communications that you send them.

Track users across different interfaces and loop data back into personalized emails.

Whether online or in physical stores, you can track user behavior and profiles to deep levels these days. Click tracking, browsing behavior or actual purchases tell you a lot about each individual user.

Use this information in creating personalized emails for your customers. After all, studies show that relevant, personalized communication results in higher conversions.

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Source: Monetate
  1. Use a real person’s name in the “from” field to increase opens by 33%

It pains me every time I receive email from excitingoffers-noreply@some-site-on-behalf-of-some-other.com. If your subscribers don’t see the name of your site, app, or CEO (best) in the Sender field of your email, why should they waste time in opening it? If at all it chances to beat their spam filters, it probably won’t even register in their minds.

Customers tend to not bother opening emails that they think are from unknown people or brands they have never interacted with. According to a study by Marketing Sherpa:

“A ’from name’ test showed a 33% increase in Open Rates, by using a person’s name and not a brand. But it also resulted in a 150% increase in Unsubscribes.”

Use your CEO’s name if she is a recognizable personality, for the ‘From’ field in your emails. Go with your brand name if that is more recognizable. A trusted, known name is always a better deal than random unknown email ‘From’ names.

While marketing agencies like Distilled (Will Critchlow), QuickSprout (Neil Patel) and WordStream (Larry Kim) put this practice to good use, it’s a great sight to see a major brand like Ralph Lauren building connections in this way.

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Imagine opening your inbox and seeing a direct mail from the CEO you adore, of a brand you love and use!

  1. Make sure your content is scintilating

You might get the subject line spot on and make a customer curious enough to open your email. But if your content is not worthwhile, it will ensure future emails from your brand don’t get opened.

Equip your B2C emails with a strong headline that clearly communicates the gist of the email. The content of the email should have a clear offer, pricing information (if appropriate to the stage of communication) and an unmissable, unambiguous Call to Action.

A B2B email should begin with a strong opening line that makes a connection with the reader instead of wasting the opening line on boring self-introductions that the user couldn’t care less about.

  1. Offer the user something special to entice them to read

82.4 billion B2C and 100.5 billion B2B emails are sent every single day. An average user is inundated with an avalanche of unsolicited and spammy emails on a daily basis.

If you want your communication to stand out, offer the user something special, something that would prompt them to look forward to hearing more from you.

This can be in the form of valuable information like research studies, infographics or whitepapers. It could even be really attractive deals and monetary enticements like discounts, freebies, referral bonus, extra loyalty points, and so on.

  1. Create a sense of urgency with time-bound offers

However great an offer maybe, unless there’s an end-date to it, no customer is pushed to whip out their wallets right away.

This email from TigerDirect has the right combination of a strong headline, an offer that creates a real sense of urgency, and a call to action button that it is loud and clear.

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To make sure your email communication inspires action immediately, create time-bound offers while clearly spelling out when the offer expires. Similar tactics like ‘Limited stock’ offers or special deals for the ‘first 50 customers’ make users want to capitalize on the opportunity while it lasts.

  1. Increase your reach by including social sharing buttons

A truly great sales email inspires users to share it with friends and family who have similar interests. Nudge them to do this by including social sharing buttons alongside each key piece of information. It could be a tweetable quote, a tempting offer shareable on Facebook, or a cute image they can’t resist pinning.

Another great way to ensure visibility to users above and beyond your mailing list is to include a prominent ‘forward to friends’ button on your email.

Typetec encourages users to forward the email to their friends using a prominently placed button in a contrasting color at the top right of the email.

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  1. Increase open rates 50% by using triggered emails

Remarketing company SaleCycle estimates that abandoned shopping carts will cost $3 trillion in online sales in 2014. But there’s a simple and extremely effective way of bringing back customers who ditched your site – triggered emails sent within hours of shopping cart abandonment.

Triggered emails are those you send out based on the behavior or profile data of your site visitors or customers. According to the Epsilon Email Trends and Benchmarks Study 2013, open rates for triggered emails stand at about 50%, while CTRs are around 10% (double that of business-as-usual emails).

In fact, SaleCycle found that such triggered emails for abandoned shopping carts yield revenues ranging from $15.23 (fashion & lifestyle category) to $ 1.48 (food & drink category) per email sent out.

Nordstrom keeps it simple and classy. Their cart abandonment email shows an image of the abandoned item and offers a prominent click through link directing the user to the product page to complete the transaction.

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An effective triggered email for abandoned shopping carts should be extremely personalized with the user’s name, details of the product left behind in the cart, a link and images of the product left behind and a clear call to action encouraging users to retrieve the abandoned cart before it expires. Abandoned cart emails are usually sent out in sets of 2 to 3 emails, with the next set of emails containing a small incentive like a discount or free shipping to entice an immediate purchase.

There’s still room for early adopters in this space. Adopt an integrated email tool like GetResponse’s auto-responder to configure triggers that make sense to your brand, schedule your message cycles, and template out what you want to say in each of them.

Closing Thoughts

Break down your brand’s marketing lifecycle and device-specific email communication strategies using the secrets mentioned above as the foundation for your plans. Once you have the overall direction chalked out and the routes planned, it’s only a matter of following the signs and driving through to your final destination. Here’s to many happy journeys ahead!

Rohan Ayyar works for E2M, a premium digital marketing firm specializing in content strategy, web analytics and conversion rate optimization for startups. His posts are featured on major online marketing blogs such as Moz, Search Engine Journal and Social Media Today. Rohan hangs out round the clock on Twitter @searchrook – hit him up any time for a quick chat.

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How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Social Media Campaign http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/09/measure-effectiveness-of-social-media/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/09/measure-effectiveness-of-social-media/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:02:02 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11999 Going social is perhaps the best thing that can happen to your business – you get instant access to millions of visitors so that all you have to do is create and deliver an effective business message. Social media marketing is growing increasingly popular, and rightly so. If done correctly, it can do wonders for...

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Going social is perhaps the best thing that can happen to your business – you get instant access to millions of visitors so that all you have to do is create and deliver an effective business message. Social media marketing is growing increasingly popular, and rightly so. If done correctly, it can do wonders for your business.

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Measuring the Effectiveness:

But how do you know if your social media strategy is effective? How do you measure it’s success? Well, here are a few pointers to help you out:

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  1. Check Engagement of Fans:

While the number of fans can be a measure of your marketing success, a more accurate measure would be how much your fans are interacting with your page/profile – number of likes, shares, retweets and pokes can be an indication of how effective your campaign is.

The logic is simple. The more your fans engage with your brand, the more interested they’re in your business, and the more likely they will be to buy your products.

  1. Check Traffic To Your Website:

The primary aim of any social medial marketing campaign is to send traffic to your website. So check your statistics (through Google Analytics) to see how much of your traffic is coming from social platforms, and is there any increase since the time you’ve intensified your social campaigns.

At times, it may so happen that you get truckloads of traffic, but your website is not ready to handle it. So get your website ready first. You could opt for cloud hosting as it is flexible enough to handle sudden spikes in traffic.

  1. Check Conversions:

Getting traffic is great, but what if they’re useless to you? The next thing to do is to check if your visitors are taking the desired action. I say desired action because the aim of the marketing campaign may not always be to make a sale. It could also be to make them download an e-book, participate in a contest, or even subscribe to a newsletter. Whatever the aim may be, you’ll need to check that it is being achieved.

If you social media marketing campaign is getting you ample traffic but most of the visitors are bouncing off your website, then it can’t be called a successful campaign.

Choosing the Right Platform:

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There are many things that contribute to the success of any social media marketing campaign, but the most important one is the choice of the platform. Every social media platform has its own features and attracts a certain kind of audience, so if you want to succeed you need to know what suits your business the best.

So how do you make sure that you choose right? Here are a few factors you should consider:

  1. Know Your Audience:

The demographics of your audience plays an important role in choosing the platform. For instance, take a look at the chart below:

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The survey takes into consideration the 5 most popular social platforms to show you the demographics of its users. As you can see, in terms of gender, Pinterest is more popular with women while LinkedIn is more popular with men (I have ignored Facebook numbers here as it’s high for all criteria due to sheer high volume of users). Likewise you can do a study of all the criteria, and then decide which platform fits the demographics of your target customer the best.

  1. Know Your Content:

When you’re on social media, you promote your business through content. So the type of content you create will determine the platform you choose. For instance:

  • Images: If most of your content comprises of images, then image-sharing platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are ideal for you.
  • Videos: If creating awesome videos is your specialty, then you should go for video networks like YouTube, Vimeo and Vine.
  • Posts: If you’re looking at writing engaging posts for your target audience, you should go for Facebook, Twitter or just plain blogging.
  1. Know What You Want:

Do you want to improve SEO? Do you want more people to walk into your store? Do you want to target smaller niches instead of the social giants mentioned above? Do want to make connections with other businesses? Knowing what you want will decide what social platform fits best.

For instance, if you want SEO, then its Google+; if you want walk-ins then you’ll have to join location-based networks like Yelp and FourSquare; if you want smaller niches, then the perfect place to start is Reddit; and lastly, LinkedIn will help you make those vital business connections.

The Top 5 Social Media Platforms:

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Still not too sure? To help you out, here are the top 5 social media platforms and when you should choose them:

  1. Facebook:

Facebook is huge, and this gives you exposure to a much wider audience than any other platform. It is a great platform for sharing interesting posts, pictures and videos that will help the audience connect and engage with your brand better. If that’s what you’re looking for, then go for it.

But there are 2 things that you should keep in mind: First, Facebook is mainly used to connect with friends and family, so it may not (always) be the right place for an out and out promotion campaign. And second, it’s sheer size exposes you to a lot of competition – the newsfeed is perpetually crowded and your message may get lost in all that noise.

  1. Twitter:

Twitter serves to the younger crowd (often referred to as information junkies), and comprises of both men and women. It’s best for those businesses that want to reach out to their audience through announcements, queries and news.

Apart from the character limit (140 characters per tweet), Twitter can be a challenge to those brands that are not equipped to promptly respond to the statements and queries of it’s fans. Twitter is more “in the moment” hang out place so you need to be on your toes.

  1. LinkedIn:

Like I mentioned above, LinkedIn is great for building connections. In addition, you can also establish yourself as an authority in your niche by participating in groups and discussions and giving out expert advice.

Since LinkedIn is not very visual (as compared to the others), it suits best for businesses that offer services rather than products.

  1. YouTube:

If you can create interesting videos that will engage the audience, then you can opt for YouTube. The best part about this channel is that it also has it’s own video-editing software so that you can edit your videos without any hassle.

The biggest drawback here is severe competition. Every day, millions of videos are getting posted on YouTube, out of which at least a few thousands will be similar to what you’re going to publish. So it becomes a difficult job to promote it in a way that it goes viral.

  1. Pinterest:

Pinterest works great for those businesses that can showcase themselves through visuals. So if you have a lot of visuals, or are creative enough to create interesting visuals, you can sign up with Pinterest.

However, one thing to keep in mind here is that the platform mainly caters to women and categories like food and DIY are the most popular.

In Conclusion:

At times, you may come across a situation where you want to use videos as well as images as a part of your content marketing strategy. So you may have to sign up for more than one social platform. That’s no problem at all. In fact, for best results, it is recommended that you promote your business on at least 3-4 social platforms. This ensures that you reach out to a wider audience.

However, do not take on what you can’t handle. Social media marketing is a rigorous process wherein you need to post regular updates and monitor your profiles regularly so that you can respond to comments and queries in a timely manner. So it makes no sense if you sign up for 10 accounts, but fail to keep up with the maintenance of all the 10 profiles. Take on less, and give it your best shot. That way, you’re more likely to succeed.

Have any other inputs you’d like to share? Feel free to comment!

Author Sofia BrooksAbout the Author: Sofia Brooks is a subject matter expert at IX Web Hosting, and her expertise lies in digital marketing. You can find her at Twitter and Google+

 

 

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How to Use Predictive Lead Scoring to Improve Your B2B Sales and Marketing Efforts http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/04/how-to-use-predictive-lead-scoring/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/04/how-to-use-predictive-lead-scoring/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 20:46:00 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11981 If you’re like most companies, you’re constantly on the hunt for ways to create better alignment between sales and marketing. When sales are disappointing, marketing blames sales for poor execution on the valuable leads they sourced. Sales, in turn, argues that marketing is spending too much of the budget on activities that generate weak leads....

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If you’re like most companies, you’re constantly on the hunt for ways to create better alignment between sales and marketing.

When sales are disappointing, marketing blames sales for poor execution on the valuable leads they sourced. Sales, in turn, argues that marketing is spending too much of the budget on activities that generate weak leads. Sales needs more, better qualified leads and it’s marketing’s job to deliver the goods.

How can the two functions not only co-exist, but also work together to meet and exceed company growth and revenue objectives?

In the olden days (4-5 years ago) a marketer may have manually scoured their database, looking for common characteristics (e.g. common job title, industry, etc.) of leads most likely to close. From there, they’d build point-based scoring models based on these basic patterns and behavioral signals—like visiting a pricing page or downloading an eBook—to determine when a lead was ready to be contacted by sales.

A great start, but activity alone proved to be inadequate in predicting whether a prospect was likely to buy.

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Today, predictive lead scoring is helping marketers understand which prospects are most likely to become customers. By looking at a combination of a company’s native data (closed and won opportunities from a CRM) and thousands of data signals across the public web, predictive solutions can identify the digital fingerprint of your ideal customer.

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With these insights, marketers can improve demand gen with better targeting, and expedite the qualification process by automatically grading leads based on how closely they match the target profile. Using this grade, sales can prioritize follow-up with a more complete customer profile for each lead, and an understanding of which leads show the highest propensity to buy.

But how can you know when you’re ready for predictive lead scoring?

To help guide you, we’ve compiled a list of 5 signals that indicate your company’s ready for predictive lead scoring:

  1. You want a more accurate sales pipeline
    With predictive pipeline forecasting, sales can get a scientific reality check on the pipeline instead of the old “we’ve got 4x, so we’re good” method.
  2. You have upwards of 300 inbound leads a month and need help prioritizing
    Predictive lead scoring will show your reps which leads to call on first, and which can be nurtured.
  3. You have hundreds, if not thousands of leads in your database
    Predictive lead scoring can show you which leads should be passed to sales for qualification and which can stay in a nurture stream.
  4. You have large sales goals to meet
    Rather than trying to stuff the funnel with more leads or adding additional headcount to meet the goals, give your sales reps better prioritization of existing leads. They will close more deals faster.
  5. Marketing wants to know where to invest their budget
    With predictive lead scoring marketing will see which campaigns are bringing in the highest quality leads in real time.

If any (or all) of the above are true for your organization, it’s time to consider integrating predictive lead scoring technology. Sales benefits from higher quality leads and improved efficiency, marketing sees better ROI from their investments, and—aligned around what constitutes a quality prospect—the two functions can finally exist in harmony. It’s a win-win-win.

About the Author: Doug Camplejohn is the CEO and Founder of Fliptop, a leader in Predictive Analytics applications for B2B companies. Before Fliptop, Doug founded two companies, Mi5 Networks and Myplay, and also held senior roles at Apple, Epiphany and Vontu.

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How to Calculate the ROI of Your Landing Page with Google Analytics http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/03/calculate-roi-landing-page-google-analytics/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/11/03/calculate-roi-landing-page-google-analytics/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 14:41:57 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11976 When I got my start in marketing, measuring the effectiveness of an advertising or marketing campaign was difficult. If you weren’t using direct mail or direct response TV, the ability to calculate the ROI of your campaigns came down to guesswork. Oh, sure, we all claimed we were tracking the results of our campaigns, but...

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Landing Page ROI

When I got my start in marketing, measuring the effectiveness of an advertising or marketing campaign was difficult. If you weren’t using direct mail or direct response TV, the ability to calculate the ROI of your campaigns came down to guesswork.

Oh, sure, we all claimed we were tracking the results of our campaigns, but the truth was that if you ran a TV, radio, print or outdoor campaign that didn’t have a direct response component in it, then the only way to see if the campaign worked was to measure the lift in overall sales.

That may sound simple enough, but the minute an ad agency said, “We ran a TV campaign last month and year-over-year (YOY) sales increased 5%,” everybody and their uncle claimed responsibility.

The sales team would jump in and highlight the fact that they ran a sales promotion at the same time. And then the public relations people would jump in and talk about their efforts. It seemed like even the people reporting the weather had a claim on the increase in sales — after all, warm, sunny weather can have a very real impact on just about any business.

Only 1/3rd of Marketers Measure the ROI of Their Campaigns

The good news for most marketers is that digital campaigns can be measured much more easily than ever before. If you track the results of your campaigns and know a few simple formulas, then you can calculate the ROI of your efforts pretty easily. (For more on this topic, read An In-Depth Guide on How to Calculate the ROI of Your Social Media Campaign on the 60 Second Marketer blog.)

Given the simplicity of measuring the ROI of a digital marketing campaign, it’s surprising that more people don’t do it — in fact, according to some studies, only 1/3rd of all marketers measure the ROI of their campaigns.

With that in mind, we thought we’d share the inforgraphic below, brought to us by our friends at Formstack. It provides some key tips and techniques you can use to calculate the ROI of some of your campaigns.

Enjoy the infographic. More importantly, put it to use!

 

Image of Landing Page ROI

 

 

Download Now

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Five Indispensable Ways to Connect with Key Influencers on Google+ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/29/five-indispensable-ways-connect-key-influencers-google/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/29/five-indispensable-ways-connect-key-influencers-google/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:19:51 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11962 Marketers often neglect Google+ and choose to focus their efforts elsewhere, In fact, when Google+ first launched it was largely derided by many marketers and businesspeople. At the time, an overcrowded social media market was certainly going to be tough to penetrate, but Google+ has made rapid progress. Twitter can feel like being lost on...

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Marketers often neglect Google+ and choose to focus their efforts elsewhere, In fact, when Google+ first launched it was largely derided by many marketers and businesspeople. At the time, an overcrowded social media market was certainly going to be tough to penetrate, but Google+ has made rapid progress.

Twitter can feel like being lost on the highway, while over on Facebook a fan or customer must initiate the first contact. Google+ is different — information isn’t hidden amongst a swamp of social noise, and it’s easier for marketers to make pro-active steps to engage customers.

What follows are some tips on how you can find key influencers on Google+ and how to use the platform to grow your business.

Build Relationships by Taking a Human Approach

Taking a human approach to your marketing efforts will pay dividends. Interacting with highly influential individuals within your niche is obviously preferable. Searching out these people can be laborious and time consuming, but fortunately there are a few handy tools at your disposal.

First, there could be people who mention you, but don’t necessarily plus mention you (similar to tagging). So how do you find these people? Google+ has a useful feature: Google Ripples. Simply click the drop down arrow and choose ‘View Ripples.’

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In the example image below – from a great Google+ resource Gplus Expertise – you can see that all the circles near ‘Will Humphries’ without names are people that haven’t plus mentioned the post. Without selecting ‘Ripples’ these accounts would have gone unnoticed.

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Another great tool is NOD3x, which is a fantastic piece of web-based software that allows you to find out who is posting about the phrases and terms that are relevant to you. A basic account is free, but there is a limit to the number of projects, and you can only search Google+ and YouTube. The software also allows you to search Twitter, Facebook, etc. if you invest in the paid version.

The first step is to do some hashtag research on Google+. Simply enter your desired hashtag in Google+ (#conversion for example) and it will return associated hashtags.

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You can then use these to set up projects in NOD3x, you can also define your demographic by selecting countries, languages, etc. You have to wait about 24hrs for a project to return some data, but once it’s up and running it will be really useful, and you will be able to identify the key influencers in your niche.

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Join Google+ Communities to Connect with Thought-Leaders

The community groups within Google+ allow you to participate using your business profile, a unique feature among the large social media platforms. The advantages of this should be immediately obvious, you can target relevant groups and showcase your brand alongside your expertise.

You might want to consider starting your own community, especially if you feel that your brand is strong enough to warrant a community based around it or one of its main products. This community will then be listed on your ‘About’ tab. Your business will also be listed at the top of the community page, which can be great for driving traffic towards your site. Fox Business is the first visible finance community on the listings home page. Obviously most communities are highly unlikely to ever achieve a placing this high, but it does shows the potential.

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If you’re posting links in a community that you haven’t started, be aware that they will not be posted until they’ve been moderated by the administrators, and will only be posted if they offer value to the community. So spend some time building the trust of the community and interacting, before simply trying to fill the community with links.

Careful and considered interaction with Google+ communities will grow your network. After a period of interaction, a relevant post with a link could drive traffic to your site

Use Hangouts on Air to Build Awareness

Hangouts were initially just solely a video chat/conferencing tool, but the addition of ‘on Air’ has allowed businesses to easily produce their own video shows or vlogs. For the uninitiated, ‘on Air’ is a recorded video that can also be easily published to YouTube. Barack Obama famously participated in his own hangout, so it’s certainly a trend that has caught on quickly.

So what is the benefit for your business? In simple terms it’s mainly brand awareness and an increase of YouTube and Google+ subscriptions. Which is great for growing your network and credibility. Another benefit is that if you involve an influential peer in your hangout, then those in their circle are also going to be exposed to your business. It’s a good idea to share some of their content as a follow-up, and hopefully they’ll reciprocate.

The Bottom Line

Many marketers are missing out on a great opportunity by ignoring Google+ and its communities. The methods outlined above will enable you target key influencers and interact with them. If you portray your brand in the right manner, then Google+ can be a great tool for conveying your brand’s ethos to a wider audience.

About the Author: This article was written by John Philips from SSLs.com. SLLs.com resells SSL certificates from the likes of Comodo, GeoTrust, and VeriSign.

 

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3 Dirty Little Secrets for Selecting the Best Visual Content http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/28/visual-content-marketing-secrets/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/28/visual-content-marketing-secrets/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:40:44 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11951 It’s no secret that visual content can boost the quality and success of marketing content on the web. However, all too often, content marketers make the mistake of relying too much on the same old, boring stock images, without giving much thought to content. In today’s competitive environment, it’s crucial that your images relate to...

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It’s no secret that visual content can boost the quality and success of marketing content on the web. However, all too often, content marketers make the mistake of relying too much on the same old, boring stock images, without giving much thought to content.

In today’s competitive environment, it’s crucial that your images relate to your brand, quickly grab the reader’s attention, and completely embody the main topic all at once.

In many ways, the images you pick are as important as the content itself.

Here are three ways to choose images that will truly click with your website visitors:

1. Skip the generic stock image

Stock images can actually give the impression of camouflage on a website. A few photos of business professionals posing in front of a white background, or a generic clip art graphic of a target to illustrate goals – this type of content will not help distinguish your brand from the competition.

If you want to use visual content to stand out, it’s important to generally stay away from generic stock images. Rather, illustrate your point with photos and visuals that are fresh and different. This doesn’t mean you have to imagine colors that have not been named to be unique, but it should prompt you to research deeper themes and illustrations that are relatable to your audience.

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Not sure if your visual is unique? Check out Google’s Search by Image to see what kind of similar visual content is out there.

2. Ask yourself, “Does it enhance the story?”

Storytelling can be a big point of emphasis in content marketing. Every piece of content can tell a story, big or small. The visual content you select can either distract from that story or enhance it.

Don’t simply use a visual because you’ve read data on how important visual content can be. Use a visual because it’s relatable, helpful or even inspiring. People respond to images they can relate to, so always keep your target demographic in mind, and use pictures that characterize their specific interests and lifestyle. If you ask yourself why you’re adding a visual, you will typically have a good gauge on whether it’s a story-enhancing image or not.

3. Get your hands dirty and be creative.

Want more authentic visual content? Take the bull by the horns – it’s the greatest dirty little secret for selecting visual content. While picking a visual from a stock website is easy, creating and capturing your own visual content can be even easier when done right.

Possibly the best tip for making your images feel original and authentic is to take your own photos. Depending on the subject, some of the best shots are candid photos of your team, a picture of the office or close-ups of your products. There’s no chance of anyone ever having the same images, and they are guaranteed to feel real and authentic along with the rest of your content.

Do you have a smartphone or digital camera? With a little research on basic photography and composition, you are already equipped with the skills you need to take a quality photo, and share it on social networks or on a blog.

Remember: When creating website content, you’re creating a more authentic brand experience. No stock site in the world can capture your brand like you can. So, go ahead … it’s time to start getting creative!

About the Author: Nate Holmes is the marketing coordinator for Widen Enterprises and its Smartimage brand extension. He has a strong interest in brand management, content marketing and marketing analytics.

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