Category: Digital Marketing

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“Get Up! Get Up Now! – It’s time to get up out of bed, people.”

This is the subject line and preview text of an email from Buzzfeed to their subscribers. If there’s one thing Buzzfeed has, it’s a knack for the relatable. This subject line exemplifies the company’s understanding of its consumers. Of course, Buzzfeed is a media company whose diverse group of email subscribers want a fun escape from day to day life. Buzzfeed gets this and pack their emails with gifs, memes and videos. The lesson here is easy.

Email should be fun.

Email doesn’t have an exciting reputation, but business professionals prefer it over other mediums for business-related communication. Following colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders, Email ranks in #3 as the most influential source of information for B2B audiences. When properly utilized, an email list can be a company’s best friend.

In 2017, Statista counted an extraordinary 3.7 billion global email users, meaning almost half of the humans on the planet have email. And, this number is consistently rising. It’s plain and simple. Email isn’t going away.

The best way to take advantage of email in 2019? Optimize that email marketing strategy for mobile use. At this point, it’s the standard. 80% of users will delete a company email, or worse, mark it as spam if it isn’t optimized for their smartphone. Now, more than ever, instead of booting up the old desktop, email is right in your pocket. Anyone with a smartphone can get real-time email notifications.

Anyone can access their email in one swipe. It doesn’t even have to be a person’s main objective. Checking email is a complementary activity. People constantly seek entertainment. Whilst entertained, people seek more entertainment. Nothing is better than a nice dopamine rush. People check email while watching TV, in bed, on vacation, and even at the dinner table (rude). Checking email can be brief, so it is important to make that email pop.

How are you going to grab your recipient’s attention? Entertaining email marketing. Funny emails work.

Recently, glasses eRetailer Warby Parker sent an email with the subject line “Pairs nicely with spreadsheets”. It wasn’t hilarious, but it was interesting. It was an eye catcher, unlike the all too popular “Check out our new product” subject lines. A simple message that generated interest.

Founded in 2010, Warby Parker sold over 100,000 pairs of glasses in its first year and clinched a $1.2 billion evaluation in 2018. They have risen as a leader in the fast-growing digital marketing space, escaping the grips of in-person inconvenience and embracing the internet. Their success is largely a product of their online marketing strategy. Their product is stylish and reasonably priced. But, from the get-go, Warby Parker’s keen eye for email has put them on the map.

According to Salesforce, the average email marketing ROI is 3,800%. That’s a whopping average return of 38 dollars for every dollar invested! This shouldn’t be a surprise. It is a deeply personal form of marketing. People sign up to join email lists, offering personal information. A level of trust between business and customer is necessary for this action to be taken. Plus, it is standard for emails to be personalized toward subscribers.

So, having that email list is great, but it’s important to understand that it is becoming more and more normal every day. Your business needs to be sending emails to subscribers yesterday.

Another thing, there are no excuses for not personalizing emails. The standard has been set. Emails should contain no less than the subscriber’s name in the greeting. When people subscribe to a newsletter, they input their name, no? Remember: This. Is. The. Standard. Thus, simply personalizing an email doesn’t make you stand out. And it’s important to stand out if you want to boost that ROI.

That’s where the funny comes in! Who doesn’t love a good joke? Especially an unexpected one. Especially in their inbox. Most of the emails everyone gets are garbage. A lot of times, you don’t even know how they know your email. A lot of times, when a subject line says, “Hey John, this is why… (*Insert thing you don’t care about*)” you understandably gloss past it.

*Mark as read* BOOM. Gone into oblivion.

It isn’t just about the subject line. First impressions are important, and people judge books by their cover, but email marketing success isn’t only based on the subject line. Check out this email graphic by BONOBOS:

The menswear company created a humorous way to show their everyday customers the world of French Corders, playing with the “French” aspect and nudge them to buy something. This fun graphic serves as a noteworthy oasis in the middle of the email desert that people normally just want to get through.

Humor is a means to settling the differences between business and recipient. Recipients receive A LOT of emails. Recipients are human beings who crave conversation. They lead busy lives. The last thing they want to see is more of the same. The least you can do is add that dancing chihuahua .gif to the email. Make your customer smile and they’ll open your email every time.

Some marketers often question, “why make a Landing Page when you already have a Website?”

For starters, landing pages are simply a better way to attract quality users. They are easy on the eyes and offer a clear path to a single, targeted Call-to-Action. Using trend analysis, they offer solutions to problems that specific segments of the population need fixing. Most importantly, Landing Pages can be tested and adapted through marketing-proven A/B Testing.

A little bit of artistic vision helps to deliver an attractive and concise Landing Page, but realistically, it is very possible to craft a Landing Page that gets the job done through consistent A/B testing and adapting through feedback.

Follow these simple design practices and your Landing Page conversion will likely skyrocket.

Be Direct

According to most researchers, you have roughly 6 seconds before a visitor decides if they will stay on or leave your Landing Page. Therefore, a headline should take zero deciphering. Your message should focus on the needs and interests of your visitors. Turn their problem into a powerful headline. Show them what they will gain from your product/service. Visitors might not have been aware of their problem prior to seeing your ad. You need to show them what they are missing in a headline and offer them one solution with your CTA.

Your CTA is a simple command. Don’t add unnecessary words to your CTA. No adjectives, no adverbs, no conjunctions, no prepositions. Phrases like “Register Now”, “Try Product Free” and “Subscribe Today” make for the ideal CTA.

To support a CTA you want to complement it with strong copy. Ideally that includes brief bullet points or short sentences. Just make sure to maintain a conversational tone that speaks to your target customer. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being sold to, so use lingo specific to the audience you’re trying to target to boost your marketing credibility.

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Target Many Smaller Audiences

Using a Landing Page to target a general audience can be a complete waste of resources. It’s entirely too costly and borderline impossible to pin down the perfect solution for an entire population. With a general approach, you’ll hardly get traffic to your Landing Page, and if people show up, there’s a high chance this will completely disrupt your analytics.

It’s vital that you do your homework first and send different offers to match different segments of your target population who, based on data analysis, need your service. This way, you can gain a loyal following with a high probability of retention and consistent engagement. After all, it’s five times cheaper to retain customers than it is to gain new ones.

More is Always Better Than less

Companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15, per a Hubspot report. If you follow the data, you’ll spend less money on guessing if certain messaging will hit and instead be able to uniquely advertise to more segmented audiences who are more likely to want what you have to offer.

Also, it’s crucial to match messaging on Social Advertisements and Landing Pages. After having their interest piqued by an advertisement, people don’t want to be blindsided with a completely different Headline, CTA and aesthetic when they arrive on a Landing Page. Stay consistent in messaging to help close more sales.

Show Proof

Use Customer Testimonials. Testimonials carry a lot of weight in our increasingly review-driven society. People trust ordinary people more than they trust your company. When ordinary people use their personal time to review your product just to be helpful, visitors feel more empowered especially if the reviews are hosted by a third-party platform such as Google or Yelp. Ratings are okay, but testimonials reign supreme. Customer testimonials are considered one of the most effective content marketing tactics, identified by 89% of B2B marketers, per a content marketing trends report.

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Use Media, But Be Cautious

The majority of people today are visual learners. Photos, videos, GIFs and music are proven to entice visitors to stay on Landing Pages as long as they’re relevant to the message and fit the overall aesthetic. According to a study by Eyeview, a provider of end-to-end video solutions, videos can increase conversion rates by up to 86%.

While media can be helpful, be cognizant of file sizes and loading speeds. While videos are the superior form of media, they can also slow down your page’s processing speed which can frustrate consumers. Research by Akamai shows that a 1 second delay in your site speed can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. With billions of options online, people don’t have time for slow speeds.

An additional warning: Avoid self-starting videos and music on Landing Pages. These can interrupt viewers while trying to take in your Landing Page information.

Make it POP

Make your CTA the center of attention. You want your CTA to be BIG, Bold and brief. It needs to stand out the most on the Landing Page. Everything else on the Landing Page should create a path towards your CTA. Utilizing “white space” is a great tactic to bring more attention to your CTA. Keeping space between different viewing points eases visitors’ eyes, making it easier to navigate the screen and focus on what is important. Likewise, a tried-and-true strategy to focus attention on a CTA is to use color contrast. CTAs commonly stand out, typically boxed in a color directly opposite of the rest of the page.

Test & Adapt

The most important part of a Landing Page is consistent Maintenance. Monitor your results and conduct A/B Testing with various Landing Page design, wording, and value propositions. A/B Testing removes guesswork, so you need to test everything happening on your page. It’s crucial that you pick up on your page’s trends, adapt or cut out what isn’t working and embrace what is working. Eventually, your Landing Page can be a well-oiled machine. It just takes vigilance.

Fun fact: President Obama’s campaign team raised an additional $60 million in revenue using Google’s free Website Optimizer to conduct A/B Testing.

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The end game of a Landing Page is to increase conversions through your CTA. Make it easy for quality visitors to discover your CTA to later become quality users. Knowing this, your CTA must be seen. You want it to be as noticeable as possible. This means limiting distractions. This means making it visually OBVIOUS and making its message OBVIOUS.

There’s a disconnect between marketing landing pages and Google searches.

Many Digital Marketers are missing their target on their landing page setups, or worse, not having any clear target and failing to get clicks. It’s wasting companies A LOT of time and money.

Here’s a hypothetical scenario:

You’re running a new soap company, trying to raise awareness of what you sell. You decide to create a Google AdWords campaign and figure keywords like “clean”, “hands” and “scrub” will get you clicks. This might seem logical; However, it’s not enough. You’re a small company, and you don’t have an abundance of cash to spend. To top it off, you have to compete with the hundreds of other companies using the exact same words to gain traffic for themselves.

Often times, digital marketers approach the development of Landing Page Design with virtually no connection with what people are actually searching for on Google, in part due to limits in coordination between marketers and designers.

It’s time to find a new slant. How can you stand out?

Many successful marketing firms have realized this disconnect and have designed innovative marketing campaigns that bridge the gap between Landing Pages and Search Intent. Some digital marketing professionals have been referring to this as Landing Page – Search Synergy.

New Balance Chicago

New Balance Chicago wanted to increase sales through the magic of digital marketing, but they looked at the opportunity through a skeptical lens. The reason for their hesitation was that New Balance Chicago stores operate independently and rely mainly on old fashioned brick-and-mortar for sales. That’s right Millennials, in-person shopping at New Balance isn’t just suburban dads buying the iconic white 608 V4 Training Shoe. New Balance Chicago had more to offer, and they just needed some exposure.

The company needed Landing Pages to bring people to their doors, and they were willing to offer deals. After attempting Facebook offers, they realized that tracking the Facebook codes was nearly impossible. Their offers reached 136,541 people, only 600 offers were claimed, and the company only logged 32 individual purchase codes. This method’s reliance on customers and clerks reporting the codes made it difficult to track. On to the next one.

New Balance Chicago pivoted, creating a new Facebook ad campaign targeting different segments of the population based on location analytics. This time, instead of direct Facebook offers, with one click, an ad directed potential customers to a Landing Page that starkly resembled the national New Balance website.

However, these sites did away with website navigation and online purchasing. They packed the page with information about the stores, imbedding Google Maps, adding phone numbers and hours, and promoting the human experience. Each Landing Page was also tailored towards its offer. Some people found themselves on the military discount Landing Page. Some parents ended up on the kid’s footwear discount Landing Page.

The company’s goal was to get more email sign ups and make more in-person sales. They accomplished both.

Within just two months, New Balance Chicago’s email list grew by over 10%. Discount hunters coughed up those emails, and the company increased its sales in its brick-and-mortar stores by over 200%. Oh, and it should be mentioned that they cut their spending in half by focusing their ad spend on website conversions instead of clicks.

Snickers: You Can’t Type When You’re Hungry

By now Snickers’ “You’re not you when you’re hungry” advertisements are ingrained in everyone’s memory. Whoever pitched “Betty White on a football field” deserved a raise that instant.

In 2013, Snickers decided to tinker with their award-winning campaign, creating an SEO campaign targeting misspellings on Google! Ah yes, human error. They bought 25,000 commonly misspelled search terms, and slapped a paid search ad directing misspellers to youcantspellwhenyourehungry.com and tailored ads saying:

“Grab yourself a Snikkers” because “Yu cant spel properlie wen hungrie.”

It turns out people spell poorly in the post-typewriter era. The campaign reached 500,000 people within three days of launch.

Have a Cold? Buy a Kleenex

Remember an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Kleenex teamed up with Google and threw all those apples in the garbage. Now, a Google a day keeps the sickness away. We’re still brainstorming jokes, but we’re sticking with that one for now.

Kleenex realized that when people get sick, they resort to asking the internet before going to the doctor. Additionally, the common cold and flu spreads regionally. So, with the help of Mindshare’s search trend analysis, Kleenex was able to predict flu outbreaks in real time, targeting these flu-ridden regions with 96% of their UK media budget and increasing their total sales by 40% year-over-year in the first two months, adding an extra 432,499 boxes of tissues sold. How’s that for an apple a day?

Do Your Homework

The examples above show successful Landing Page – Search Synergy. These companies got in touch with their consumers’ behaviors and they were willing to spend some money to take calculated risk in order to gain traffic to their Landing Pages and increase profits. Your company can’t just settle on the same keywords as everyone else, and you do have to spend some money to make money. But, Landing Pages and digital marketing heavily rely on analytics and trends. Do your homework and it will pay off.

Research, Create, Analyze. Repeat.