Archive for ‘General Marketing’

September 2nd, 2014

12 Essential Email and Marketing Automation Tools for Marketers

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As mentioned in yesterday’s post, this is a big week for us. The new edition of How to Make Money with Social Media is now in stores and we’re getting a lot of great feedback about the book. Comments range from “This is a great read!” from Zachary Ferguson on Amazon to “This is better than Shakespeare!” from my mom.

One of the things that seems to be working is that we provide real insights from real case studies in real language. By “real language” I mean that we don’t use dense, stuffy words that get in the way of the concepts. Instead, we use plain English so that it sounds as if you’re having a conversation with two marketing experts at Starbucks.

We cover a lot of topics in the book, ranging from how to calculate the ROI of a social media campaign to understanding the conversion rates you can expect from your landing pages.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that discusses the benchmarks for conversion rates for an e-book vs. the benchmarks for conversion rates for a product or service:

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That excerpt comes from a chapter we wrote called “Closing the Loop with Email and Marketing Automation.” In that chapter, we discuss how most effective social media campaigns will use email or marketing automation in order to convert a prospect into a customer.

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All that begs an important question:

What Are the Top Email and Marketing Automation Tools You Should Know About?

Here’s the list of some of the email and marketing automation tools we discuss in How to Make Money with Social Media. (For the complete list, along with hundreds of other insights and resources, feel free to mosey on down to your local bookstore and grab yourself a copy.)

Email Marketing Platforms:

  • AWeber: These guys have strict guidelines in place for their customers that are designed to keep them whitelisted and off the dreaded SPAM blacklists.
  • Emma: Do you take great pride in your design and creative skills? Then Emma (found at MyEmma.com) might be right for you. Well-designed templates and a creative flair are what differentiate Emma from other e-mail service providers.
  • iContact: If you’re looking for a lot of bells and whistles without the added expense of marketing automation, then iContact may be just what you’re looking for.
  • MailChimp: How can you not love an e-mail service provider that uses a chimp as its mascot? Their clean, uncluttered web interface and their devotion to customer service are just two of the many reasons so many people put MailChimp high on the list of top e-mail service providers.

Marketing Automation Platforms:

  • Act-On: These guys focus on the “Fortune 5,000,000,” which means they’re perfect for the 99.99 percent of all businesses that aren’t members of the Fortune 500. They’re well respected and offer a simple-to-use platform that has everything most businesses need.
  • Eloqua: Now part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, Eloqua is one of the original members of the marketing automation industry. It’s a clean, well-run platform that delivers the goods for many well-known brands around the globe.
  • ExactTarget: Now part of Salesforce.com, ExactTarget is one of the best-known members of the marketing automation industry. They started out as an e-mail service provider and have buffed-up their offerings to the point where they’re one of the more prominent members of the marketing automation space.
  • HubSpot: Think of HubSpot as marketing automation software,plus a blogging platform, plus an analytics platform—all on steroids. HubSpot has done a great job updating their platform so that it continuously offers more and more options without becoming so complex as to be unusable.
  • InfusionSoft: Best known for a visual campaign manager that lets you drag and drop your next campaign quickly and easily, InfusionSoft is used by more than 72,000 people around the globe. They have a good reputation and are the favorite of manythought leaders in the marketing industry.
  • LeadLife: Founded by Richard Brock, one of the grandfathers of marketing automation, LeadLife is perfect for small- to mid-sized businesses interested in a seamless, easy-to-use platform. They also offer a “white list” version for agencies that want to offer an agency-branded marketing automation platform to their clients.
  • Marketo: A very well-known marketing automation platform that provides a lot of bells and whistles at a very competitive cost. Customers include Hyundai, the American Kennel Club, and Curves. Oh, and Harvard Business School uses them, too. Enough said.
  • Silverpop: Recently acquired by IBM, this is a robust, full-featured platform that takes behavioral marketing to some new and interesting places.

There are a number of reasonably good options out there for email marketing and marketing automation that aren’t included in this summary list, but the list above should give you the lay of the land to help you get started.

Action Steps for You.

Your first step is to decide whether you simply need an email marketing platform or a more robust marketing automation platform.

Once you’ve made that decision, take a look at the options mentioned above and narrow down your choices. When you get to 2 or 3 different options, it never hurts to call their sales team or their customer service team — a lot of times, you can learn more from talking on the phone than you can by reading the sales materials on their website.

Good luck. And keep me posted on your outcome!

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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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

September 1st, 2014

How to Make Money with Social Media

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Did you know that some social media campaigns aren’t designed to make money as much as they’re designed to save money?

That’s just one of the insights in the new edition of my book, How to Make Money with Social Media, which, as of today, is now available in bookstores and on Amazon.

The book, co-authored with Dr. Reshma Shah of Emory University, highlights some key concepts about social media that every marketer should know.

Here’s just one of the concepts that we discuss throughout the book:

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If that’s music to your ears, then you might be interested in downloading a free chapter on the 60 Second Communications website. There are no forms to fill out or email addresses to provide — just a PDF of the first chapter from the book. Go on — check it out.

We cover a lot of ground in this new edition of the book. One of the topics we discuss is that, while all roads in social media should lead to ROI, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all social media campaigns should generate revenue.

That may be surprising, but it’s true.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that drives home that point:

Some very successful social media campaigns aren’t designed to generate sales as much as they’re designed to generate satisfied customers.

Dan Gingiss, the Director of Digital Customer Experience and Social Media for Discover Card, has a team of social media experts who monitor and review tweets and Facebook posts from customers.

Discover is in a highly regulated industry, which makes responding to account specific inquiries a challenge. But Discover has found ways to monitor the conversations and to take care of the customer’s concerns either via a Twitter direct message or in a secure online chat environment.

The response has been very positive, with customers responding with praise for Discover’s use of social media to handle customer service issues.

The idea behind this initiative is that Discover wanted to be able to answer customer questions in the channels in which the customer initiated the request. They also found that by participating in the online conversations in a personalized and genuine way, they were able to a) quickly solve the customer’s problems, b) demonstrate their superior customer service in a public ways, and c) minimize the negative commentary from disgruntled cardholders, who often end up posting positive commentary after being serviced.

In this particular case, Discover is using social media as a customer service tool. Although it’s difficult to assign a dollar amount to the value of a social customer service campaign, it’s not impossible. For starters, you can track how much it costs to manage a customer complaint using traditional media and compare it to the cost of managing it via social media.

In the old days, customer service complaints were handled almost exclusively via an 800 number. That meant manning an entire bank of phones with operators who could only handle one customer complaint at a time. 

If the operators got busy, customers were put on hold. When an angry customer gets put on hold, they grow increasingly frustrated. By the time the operator gets to the now-frustrated customer, the operator has to spend time easing them back into a civil and productive conversation.

It was an expensive way to manage customer service.

By comparing the cost of traditional customer service to the cost of social media customer service, companies such as Discover can make a calculation of whether or not they have improved efficiencies by using social media customer service.

If the cost of having a traditional customer service department is, say, $1 million per year, but the cost of having a blended traditional and social customer service department is $900,000, then their social media efforts “made” the company $100,000.

Of course, that’s a simplified view of the costs associated with a customer service department, but it highlights a larger issue—not all social media campaigns are designed to make money, some are designed to save money. Stamp.001

Interested in learning more about how to use social media to grow your business?

If so, stick around. Next week is How to Make Money with Social Media Week. We’re devoting an entire week to guest posts from famous authors and social media experts from around the globe. It’s all designed to help people like you learn cutting-edge techniques to use social media to grow your business.

Interested in learning more? Terrific. Come back tomorrow (and the next day and the next day). Or, sign up for our e-newsletter so that you can have links to the posts dropped into your in-box. It’s just one of the many benefits we provide to members of the 60 Second Nation.

See you tomorrow!

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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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

August 28th, 2014

Hopefully, Your Competitors Don’t Know This Secret About Mobile

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There’s an amazing fact about mobile advertising that many businesspeople either don’t know or refuse to acknowledge. It’s something that’s been reported in some trade publications, but for reasons not widely understood, many brands are ignoring the data and sticking with their traditional marketing campaigns instead.

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The data is something Chuck Moxley and I will be discussing in-depth in an advanced-level mobile advertising webinar we’re conducting on Thursday, September 18th at 2:00 pm Eastern Time.

We’ll be going into some really sophisticated topics around cutting-edge techniques in mobile advertising. If you’re past the fundamentals and ready to dive into some of the more complex and challenging mobile concepts, be sure to register for the event by clicking here.

(Side note: Even if you’re still just dipping your toe into mobile, you should join the webinar — if you do, you’ll come away with some of the most transformative information you’ll ever see in mobile.)

One of the many topics we’ll discuss is this fact.

If the amount of time people are spending on their mobile devices was aligned with ad budgets, marketers would spend 500% more on mobile ads this year than is anticipated.

For perspective on this, check out the chart below.

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If all of this information gets your wheels spinning — and it should — then you should know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, increasing spending is important, but if you really want to get sophisticated, you should find out some of the advanced mobile targeting and measurement techniques we’ll be discussing in the webinar.

Sound like a plan?

Here are some action steps for you.

  • Consider the impact a 500% increase in mobile advertising spending would have on your business.
  • Assuming your competitors are either just getting into mobile, or are increasing their spend by, say, 100% next year, you can have a huge competitive advantage over them by dominating the mobile space before they catch on to the information outlined in the chart above.
  • If you’d like to hear more about mobile targeting, mobile measurement and mobile ROI, then sign up for our free webinar where we’ll be discussing advanced mobile advertising techniques. It’s scheduled for Thursday, September 18th at 2:00 pm ET.

See you there!

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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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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

August 26th, 2014

The 5 Most Important Metrics in an SMS Campaign

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When it comes to marketing, you can hardly get more direct than SMS. Once your business manages to gather SMS subscribers, you have instant access to an unprecedented form of communication that allows you to send anything straight to a personal device (within reasonable limits).

However, if you don’t have a proper handle on how to measure the success of your campaign, you can’t improve on your technique.

ROI is generally quite high with SMS marketing, as sending texts is inexpensive, direct, and the chances of it being read are extremely high (sometimes as much as 95%).

SMS data

Almost everyone is now mobile, and they read texts with much greater speed than print media, or even email. Therefore the initial contact is far easier to achieve, and your chances of success are greatly increased with well thought-out content and a user-friendly interface for any of your links.

ROI in SMS Marketing

When it comes to SMS marketing, ROI can be easily calculated by paying attention to the data. The first step is to establish your goals for the program. The next step is to formalize the metrics you’ll be tracking during the campaign.

With that in mind, here are the 5 most important metrics you’ll need to measure on your next SMS campaign:

Open Rates – This allows you to see how many texts were opened. For SMS, this is generally a high number.

Response Rates – If the message required a response, it’s easy to gauge effectiveness since the customers will send texts back to the source. If these types of messages yield a poor response, it’s likely something to do with the ease of the call to action. Keep things simple (usually a simple request for them to text back a word or code).

Offers Used – Again, it’s easy to see when a customer has taken advantage of an offer or coupon, especially when the offer was distributed exclusively through text to select subscribers.

Call Tracking – It’s an uncommon option, but you can invite a subscriber to call a number to find out more information. Obviously receiving a call from a customer is an excellent way to track the impact of a marketing strategy.

Click Tracking – Websites are an easy target for ROI, as they can be heavily regulated and controlled. You can therefore easily find out how many people have accessed your website’s mobile version, as well as those who’ve gone straight to the page or offer denoted in the text.

Owning all of this data allows you to see exactly where the faults lie in your marketing strategy; of course, this is also the key to improving. If any offers failed to produce results, either cut them entirely or assess how they can be made more accessible.

Using the specific data you can properly gauge which parts of your website were popular or avoided, as well as seeing exactly how active your subscribers are in terms of response. If there isn’t much activity, consider offering something with more of an incentive.

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The Bottom Line: Information is key to the entire process, as is properly interpreting the data. No business can afford to waste time, effort and money on a scheme that produces poor results. Knowledge of how to properly run an SMS campaign should be absolutely paramount from the very beginning of any marketing strategy.

This post was written by David Kovacs who is a young entrepreneur and a marketing enthusiast from Hungary working for Silverstreet and loves to share his thoughts and articles on various channels in topics related to technology, marketing and business.

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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

August 24th, 2014

How to Advertise on Snapchat

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Are you interested in learning how to advertise on Snapchat?

Not long go, we uploaded a post to the 60 Second Marketer blog called The Definitive Guide to Marketing with Snapchat. It proved to be a popular post and provided some early tips on how to leverage Snapchat for marketing.

A lot has happened since that post went live several months ago. For starters, according to this article in Mashable, research indicates that Snapchat is more popular among college-age students than Facebook is. According to the study, 70% of college students surveyed used Snapchat at least once a day. Unfortunately (for Facebook anyway) only 11% reported using their platform with the same frequency.

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What’s driving the migration to Snapchat? The research indicated that students enjoy the greater sense of privacy they get on the Snapchat platform. Check out this chart showing that 35% of the students surveyed feel they have the most privacy on Snapchat, while 45% of those surveyed feel they have the least privacy on Facebook.

Survey results

Those survey results are interesting, to be sure. But what’s the big news coming out of Snapchat’s Venice, California headquarters?

The Big News Has Nothing to Do with the Fact That Young People Are Abandoning Facebook for Snapchat

The big news for Snapchat is the fact that this November they’re launching something called Snapchat Discovery, which would show content and ads to Snapchat users.

According to the Wall Street Journal, at least a dozen media companies, including newspapers, magazines and television networks, have discussed providing content for Snapchat Discovery.

The Journal goes on to say that the product would let users read daily editions of publications as well as watch video clips of TV shows or movies by holding down a finger on the screen.

Several brands, including Taco Bell and food-delivery service GrubHub use the service to offer promotions and to hold contests with loyal customers. But by introducing Snapchat Discovery, the platform is clearly moving aggressively to monetize their massive following.

As discussed in my book How to Make Money with Social Media, all roads in social media should lead to ROI. It’s clear Snapchat (or its investors) agree with that point-of-view. (What’s not to agree with?)

Want to learn more about Snapchat? We’ve collected some key facts below.

Snapchat in a Nutshell

For those of you who are visual/tactile learners, we’ve tracked down this video which will give you a much clearer sense of how Snapchat is being used to create a following. (Side note: Remember, a big following doesn’t necessarily mean big revenue, it simply means you have a big following. Revenue is an entirely different can of worms we can discuss … well, after Snapchat Discovery debuts in November.)

As for those of you who are interested in advertising on Snapchat, for the time being, you’ll have to follow the Taco Bell model, which used the platform as a promotional tool to launch its new taco last April. That essentially means you have to 1) develop content for the Snapchat platform, then 2) spend money promoting the fact that you’ve developed a promotion on Snapchat.

That may seem like going a long way around Hogan’s barn to get to your final destination, but if you have the money and staff, it can be a real differentiator for your brand.

For the rest of us, we’ll have to wait until Snapchat Discovery launched in November. Or, you can use some of the techniques outlined in the video below.

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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